Walter Thomas (musician)

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Walter "Foots" Thomas (1907 – August 26, 1981) was a saxophonist and arranger in Cab Calloway's orchestra.

Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, he moved to New York City in 1927, and played for a time with Jelly Roll Morton. He then joined The Missourians in 1929, just before Calloway took it over.

In 1943 he left to work with Don Redman, and toward the end of his life tutored Jackie McLean.

Since the 1940s, he lived in Englewood, New Jersey, near his old friend Tyree Glenn, with whom he spent much time in retirement. He died on August 26, 1981 as a result of cancer.

Thomas was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 1996.


Schuller, Gunther. The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945 (1991), Oxford Paperbacks ISBN 0-19-507140-9