D/B Retrspective: Leon Thomas

Amos Leon Thomas Jr (1937 – May 8, 1999) was an American avant garde jazz singer from East St. Louis, Illinois. He changed his name to Leone in 1974 because of an interest he had in numerology at the time. He did not legally change his name and he reverted back to Leon shortly thereafter.

“China Doll” by Leon Thomas

Thomas is known for his work with Pharoah Sanders, particularly the 1969 song “The Creator Has a Master Plan” from Sanders’ Karma album. Thomas’s most distinctive device was that he often broke out into yodeling in the middle of a vocal. This style has influenced singers James Moody and Tim Buckley, among others.

Leon Thomas The Creator Has A Master Plan

Thomas studied music at Tennessee State University. Thomas was for a period member of the band of Carlos Santana. Thomas died of heart failure on May 8, 1999.

Via Clara Flower