Many mainstream jazz listeners first experienced this trumpeter in the context of pianist and composer Chick Corea's expanded versions of the Return to Forever combo in which a rhythm section that had already transitioned from bossa nova to heavy fusion was augmented by a small brass section, representing something of a florid garden plot for the leader's Latin jazz, flamenco, and even downright Andalusian leanings.
John Thomas was nearing his second decade in the music business at the point of participating in this somewhat typical music of the '70s. He began touring and recording with Kansas City jazz legend Count Basie in the second half of the '50s. His skill at spitting out high notes has also led to big band employment for leaders such as the reliable Woody Herman and the creative Maria Schneider, among others. The trumpeter should not be confused with a much older trombonist whose career began in the '20s. Thomas has also played on an amazing number of television and film scores, notably the sizzling rhythm and blues soundtrack to Academy Award-winning biopic Ray. As an educator he has conducted workshops internationally and has written articles on lead trumpet for the International Trumpet Guild and the Jazz Educators Journal. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi