Steve Thomas | Got the Map

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Moods: Type: Vocal
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Got the Map

by Steve Thomas

A traveler's guide for the soul, these original songs track the ghosts lurking behind daily life, with intelligence and humor.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Got the Map
4:44 album only
2. Harry On Saturday
2:59 album only
3. The New World
4:09 album only
4. Staggered
3:51 album only
5. Back Up
5:01 album only
6. Facing You
4:35 album only


Album Notes
Sometimes I think a performer functions as a precipitating agent, helping to release the energies that are already present in a time or place.

These songs are mine. But maybe they show traces of some of my heroes - Caetano Veloso of Bahia, Thelonious Monk of New York City, Tom Jobim of Rio de Janeiro, Steve Lacy of Paris, Johnny Carisi of "Israel." Pianist Ben Schwendener and I recorded these songs live in his studio, and they feel like conversations between two pals on the same wavelength.

I hope that people will move into the songs, find their place in them, and use them for their own purposes. I used to do a lot of performance art work, combining singing, talking, and moving, and my goal always was for the audience to be haunted by the work, so that it would stay with them and resurface later, long after the performance. I feel the same way about these songs.

Steve Thomas is a composer-lyricist, vocalist, percussionist, storyteller, and sometime dancer/mover based in Boston. His first and continuing musical love is jazz, and it's still at the root of his own music. He started out loving Gerry Mulligan and Jimmy Guiffre as a kid, got blind-sided by Mingus, Coltrane, and Ornette a few years later, and now gets a big charge out of player-composers like Amsterdam-based Michael Moore, the Balkan-influenced Paradox Trio, and singer-composer Mili Bermejo. Besides blowing a ridiculous amount of money on jazz CDs, Steve's studied jazz theory, including George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept with teacher-composer Ben Schwendener, and jazz singing with vocalist Dominique Eade. Before writing and recording the songs for the CD "Got the Map," he wrote songs and performed with The Busters (two singers and electric bass).

He also has a major Brazilian jones. In 1999 and 2001 he traveled to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, to study Afro-Brazilian chants and rhythms and contemporary samba-reggae drumming, and he hasn't been the same since. He plays percussion in the Brazilian "samba school" Samba Tremeterra, which performs throughout the Boston area.

Steve has also maintained a parallel career as a performance artist. Before moving to Boston in 1988, he collaborated with dancers, singers, and other performance artists in Burlington, Vermont, in the improvisation group Subject to Change and the new-music vocal ensemble 3-D. In Boston, he developed and performed a series of autobiographical solo pieces that interwove singing, talking, and movement, culminating in "Reclamation Project," an hour-long piece that was awarded a Somerville Arts Council grant, and "5," a piece of similar length that combined spoken vignettes about Vermont friends with movement patterns and singing based on variations of a 5-beat rhythm. He also collaborated on the "mini-opera" "Appeals to Your Appetite" with dancer-singer Sally Souders and two realizations of Gertrude Stein "plays" with actor-director David Miller. Steve's performed at art galleries, libraries, city parks, Wellesley and Middlebury Colleges, and the experimental performance space Mobius in Boston.



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