Rene Thomas – Is This an Overlooked Bebop Hero?

Rene Thomas is maybe not the first Jazz guitarist to come up in a conversation, but his very melodic and strong bebop inspired jazz lines are very much worth checking out. The Rene Thomas Guitar Legacy includes sideman gigs with Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Chet Baker. Besides that he recorded several albums under his own name.

The excerpts in this video are form his first US album “Guitar Groove” an album that features Rene Thomas and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar with whom he recorded and worked very frequently.

The story goes that Stan Getz heard a trio with Thomas once in London and hired the band on the spot.

These examples arereally illustrating how he manages to use modern jazz sounds and a lot of bebop tradition in his playing. The melodies are often very refined and the ideas very long which is of course also a trademark of a master improvisor.

If you want to check out some other performances then I have a short playlist of videos here: Rene Thomas Live Videos

Especially the solo on Oleo is burning!

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