Thomas, Leon (actually, Amos Leone, Jr.)

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Thomas, Leon (actually, Amos Leone, Jr.)

Thomas, Leon (actually, Amos Leone, Jr.), jazz singer; b. East St. Louis, III, Oct. 4, 1937; d. N.Y, May 8, 1999. He began studying music in high school and continued his musical studies at Term. State Univ. He first did theater tours in the late 1950s, working with Art Blakey and Mary Lou Williams. In 1961, he replaced “Big” Joe Williams in Count Basie’s band, working with him through most of the decade. He then worked with Pharoah Sanders (1969-72) and Santana (1973), before going out on his own. He attracted attention with his yodeling, which some say was modelled after traditional African Pgymy vocalizations. During the 1980s and 1990s he was a regular on the N.Y. club scene.


Spirits Known and Unknown (1969); In Berlin (1970); Leon Thomas Album (1970); Gold Sunrise on Magic Mountain (1971); Blues and the Soulful Truth (1972); Facets (1972); Full Circle (1973); Precious Energy (1987); Blues Band (1988); Leon Thomas Blues Band (1988).

—Lewis Porter

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Thomas, Leon (actually, Amos Leone, Jr.)

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