Leon Thomas was the definitive jazz vocalist of the 1970s and his albums for Flying Dutchman are all classics.
Although he had started his career in Count Basie’s band in the early 60s, by the latter part of the decade he had become an essential part of saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders group, alongside Lonnie Liston Smith, and co-wrote ’The Creator Has A Master Plan’ for the album “Thembi”. The success of this album led to him being offered a deal with Bob Thiele’s new Flying Dutchman label where he recorded 5 studio album
“Full Circle” is his final album for the label and was recorded as Thomas was being asked to join Santana, and as such it is apt that he covers Santana’s ‘Just In Time To See The Sun’, turning it into a spiritual jazz classic. Elsewhere there are Motown covers such as a wonderful ‘Got To Be There' but it’s the jazzy tour de forces such as ‘It’s My Life I’m Fighting For’ and ‘Balance Of Life (Peace Of Mind), that have kept the demand high for this record. The musicians who back Thomas on this album include Bernard Purdie, Joe Farrell, Joe Beck, Jimmy Owens, Pee Wee Ellis and many more.
Thomas’ career never really found itself on a firm footing again in the years that followed and only one more studio album followed - 1988s reunion with Thiele and Purdie "The Leon Thomas Blues Band” - meaning that “Full Circle” was the final album of him as a contemporary singer. This reissue comes from the highest quality tape transfers from the original masters.