JESSE THOMAS,conocido también por Baby Face, Mule o Blues Troubadour , quizá no llego a la fama de su hermano Willard " Ramblin " Thomas un músico más prolífico y conocido.Fallecido en 1995, la casa de discos BACK TOP RECORDS sacó al mercado este album titulado LOOKIN' FOR THAT WOMAN , en 1996 , que se compone de " rarezas " grabadas en directo a lo largo de su carrera. Acompañan al músico , cantante y guitarra . Steve James a la guitarra , Dan Garver, guitarra , Chris Clark Bajo Tyrone Starks batería, Dennis Cavalier al piano , y Paul Harrington a la armónica todos ellos repartidos por las distintas piezas que conforman este disco. Hemos entresacado para esta ocasión el BOOGIE WOOGIE compuesto por el propio Jesse al igual que todos los demas temas excepto Jack of Diamonds , tradicional. En esta pieza podemos oír a un Jesse Thomas mayor,intercalando sus frases al exelente trabajo del pianista Dennis Cavalier
The brother of Texas bluesman Willard "Ramblin'" Thomas, ( * ) Jesse "Babyface" Thomas never had the success of his more famous sibling. Born in the hamlet of Logansport, LA, near the Texas border in 1911, Jesse Thomas and his brother were personally close growing up, often working in the fields together, and he also aspired to a music career -- the two performed together. He moved to Dallas in 1929, at a time when Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson were in their heyday; Thomas made his first recordings that year, at age 18, for Victor. He cut four sides, but found little success coming from those efforts. Whether by design or a simple process of selection, he decided not to emulate his more famous brother's slide guitar-based sound, instead playing in a fingerpicking style closer to that of Blind Blake, Lonnie Johnson, or Blind Lemon Jefferson himself.
In the early '40s, Jesse Thomas relocated to Los Angeles, losing contact in the process with both his sibling and the itinerant musician's life he'd led in the previous decade. He also got to hear and play with musicians who were more influenced by jazz, and the more sophisticated varieties of blues that had taken root in the big cities. These influences soon became clear when he resumed his recording career in the late '40s in Los Angeles; he also demonstrated his songwriting prowess. He tended to write and sing about more upbeat and romantic subjects than his brother, and favored a highly rhythmic and animated style on his instrument. "Double Do Love You" recalled T-Bone Walker at his best, and anticipated the work of Chuck Berry by six or seven years. Jesse Thomas also worked well in a band setting, playing his instrument off against piano accompaniment by Lonnie Lyons and Lloyd Glenn, amongst others, and also saxmen such as Sam Williams and Conrad Johnson. He recorded for Milltone, Freedom, Modern, Swing Time, Hollywood, Specialty, and Elko between 1948 and 1958, and briefly had his own label, Club Records, at the end of the '40s.
It may have been Thomas' sheer versatility that hurt him as a recording artist, at least in terms of commercial success. Unlike his brother, who never evolved too far out of his rural life or roots, Jesse Thomas was always adding strings to his bow, so that by the late '40s he was doing what amounted to R&B rather than pure blues, as both a singer and guitarist, and altering his sound with almost every release, working in different group contexts -- all effective, but all different. He was doing what would later be defined as rock & roll years before it got that name, and was cutting perfectly fine, Chess Records-style rock & roll music in the mid-'50s. He was back in Shreveport from 1957 on, cutting sides of Hollywood Records, He kept working at least into the '70s and '80s, even founding another label, Red River. He cut his last session in 1992, at age 81, working once more in a country-blues vein and a small group setting, and showed his playing skills still intact. Thomas died in 1995 at the age of 84, after a 60-year career in music.
WILLARD Ramblin' THOMAS
JESSE Babyface THOMAS
( * ) Willard "Ramblin" Thomas was born around 1900, probably in Texas but possibly in Louisiana. Very little is known about him except that he recorded eighteen tracks for Paramount and Victor between 1928 and 1932. He was reportedly a self-taught guitarist who spent most of his life playing the street corners and juke joints in Texas, Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta region, often in the company of King Solomon Hill. Sometime after his last recording in 1932 he is said to have moved to Memphis where is is thought to have died not long after his arrival there.
Brother of Ramblin' Thomas, Jesse "Babyface" Thomas was also a blues guitarist who enjoyed some local popularity in Shreveport, Louisiana, and also in Oklahoma City.