March 1997

Luther Thomas Quartet
Bagin' It
CIMP Recordings

Alto saxman Luther Thomas, who if memory serves properly, made his last previous recorded appearance swathed in avant-funk, goes the hard jazz route here with trumpeter Ted Daniel, bassist Wilber Morris, and drummer Dennis Charles. Making no compromise and taking few if any prisoners, Luther works the alto over, under, around and through making his way to stratospheric squeals of exultation at peak momentum.

"BoBopBoLuBo" is a sort of wacked-out, "Bizarro World," St. Thomas variation; call it the bent calypso. "As If It Were Love," another keen moment, presents an Ornette-ish motif that pays proper allegiance to one of Luther's likely touchstones, in trio with bass and drums. The trio also takes "As If It Were Love," and when Daniel returns for "Kool Aid" the trumpeter's presence again seems to encourage Luther to go stratospheric.

Originally published in March 1997
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