Babatunde Lea – Umbo Weti: A Tribute to Leon Thomas

Babatunde Lea
Umbo Weti: A Tribute to Leon Thomas
Motema Music – 2009
Sounds of Timeless Jazz

This CD exudes the post-bop spirituality of jazz and the social consciousness of  a bygone era that found music lovers basking in the peace and love movement of the Sixties  and Seventies. Known for his free jazz vocalizations – yodel singing, vocalese, and great songwriting, Leon Thomas was one of the most passionately inventive musicians of that era and with UMBO WETI – A TRIBUTE TO LEON THOMAS, Babatunde Lea pays tribute to his career and essence.

Joined by Dwight Trible on vocals, Ernie Watts on tenor sax, Gary Brown on bass and Patrice Rushen on piano, Babatunde Lea unveils another layer of the joyful virtuosity inherent in Thomas’ most revered songs.  Trible’s vocals do great justice to the songs since his muse channels Thomas’ yodeling and vocalese on such songs as “Let the Rain Fall On Me,” and of course, the priceless “Creator Has A Master Plan.”

The ensemble re-works “Song For My Father”by  adding new lyrics and adept vocals and takes on John Lee Hooker’s “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom” with inventive musicality. Recorded live at Yoshi’s in Oakland CA, this double-disc recording also has video content on Disc 2. It’s  just in time and is sure to please fans of Babatunde Lea and Leon Thomas.

Reprinted with permission of…