Jeri BROWN & Leon THOMAS 1998

For Gaston who loves Leon Thomas and will love Jeri Brown...

Jeri Brown was born in Missouri, and has been singing publicly from the age of six. It was in Iowa, on a four-year scholarship, that she studied classical voice. As a result of student performances in mid-western U.S. and Europe, (Sweden, Germany, Norway and Holland), her voice caught the attention of musical directors and composers looking for an imaginative voice with incredible range effortlessly creating aesthetic touches to their contemporary or avant-garde works.
Along with performances with the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jeri began performing more stylistic renditions of standards from theatre, film and pop culture.
Drummer and renowned bandleader Bob McKee, invited Jeri to become lead singer in several of his combos in Ohio. This exposure and training led to performances with many renowned artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Billy Taylor and Dizzy Gillespie. It was also during this period that Ms. Brown was encouraged to improvise in concert with such emerging artists as Joe Lovano.
Jeri Brown then rapidly moved into the front rank of jazz vocalists from the Cleveland area as resident vocalist with The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. Besides focusing on classic jazz standards, she developed as an accomplished lyricist, recitalist, concert soloist and recording artist, and has become one of the world's most respected jazz vocalists.
Jeri Brown has earned a reputation as one of jazz’ most outstanding "artistic" vocalists. With many fine musicians who are labeled "artistic" it’s sometimes overlooked how richly musical, thoroughly accessible and enjoyable their music can be. Jeri Brown is focused, ambitious, daring and intent upon creating music that is both well conceived and honest. Brown is well known for performing and recording with passion and dedication.
Committed to the legacy of vocal jazz, Ms. Brown’s performances fill the historical spectrum of classic American songbook themes, original jazz compositions, and contemporary world themes with intense vocal improvisations, and include collaborations with diverse, legendary jazz artists.


Jeri BROWN & Leon THOMAS vcl, David MURRAY & Don BRADEN ts, Avery SHARPE & Curtis LUNDY b, John HICKS p, Sangoma EVERETT dr,

Amos Leon Thomas Jr (1937-1999) was an American avant garde jazz singer from East St. Louis, Illinois. He changed his name to Leone in 1974.
Thomas is best known for his work with Pharoah Sanders, particularly the 1969 song "The Creator Has a Master Plan" from Sanders' Karma album. Thomas's most distinctive device was that he often broke out into yodeling in the middle of a vocal. This style has influenced singers James Moody and Tim Buckley, among others. Thomas studied music at Tennessee State University. He also worked with Grant Green, Jimmy Forrest, and Hank Crawford, Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams, Randy Weston, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Louis Armstrong, Carlos Santana, Freddie Hubbard and Oliver Nelson. Thomas died of heart failure on May 8, 1999.

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