Despite an almost  20 year career, ‘On The Bone’ is jazz trombonist BRIAN THOMAS’ first album as a leader. They say good things come to those who wait and if you dig proper, old fashioned , retro soul jazz then you’ll readily agree that ‘On The Bone’ is “a good thing”.

‘Bacudi Blues’ is the track that best typifies Thomas’ sound. Big, beefy  and brash, Darby Wolf’s emotive Hammond fills recall the great days of the genre. Elsewhere, the funk of the album’s title tracks suggests (rightly) that the inspiration was the JBs while ‘Just A Glimpse’ is an obvious homage to dear Hugh Masekela – sunshine and smiles all round!

Helping Brian deliver is a tight, together quartet  – the aforementioned Darby Wolf, drummer Tom Arey, percussionist Yahubu Garcia-Torres and guitarist Johnny Trama . Thomas has worked with those musicians for almost 20 years and it shows… proper team work. On two tracks that unit is augmented by sax men Scott Mayo (‘Turn On’) and Mike Tucker (the aforementioned ‘On The Bone’) and though he’s the leader, Thomas is man enough to give those two and his engine room boys their own space.

‘One The Bone’ was recorded (largely) “live” and mastered and mixed by Soulive’s Alan Evans. It’s out now.

(BB) 3/5