Joe Thomas (flautist)

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Joe Thomas
Joe Thomas.jpeg
Joe Thomas
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Samuel Thomas
Born(1933-05-31)May 31, 1933
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJuly 26, 2017(2017-07-26) (aged 84)
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul-jazz, disco
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
InstrumentsFlute, Tenor Saxophone
Years active1960–1980
LabelsGroove Merchant, Sue, Chiaroscuro, Cobblestone, LRC

Joseph Samuel Thomas (May 31, 1933 - July 26, 2017) was an American jazz flutist and occasional saxophonist.[1]


As a child, Thomas learned to play alto and soprano saxophone, trombone, flute and piano, and also taught himself how to write music. Encouraged by his older brother, he began performing in clubs from the age of fifteen and was noticed by James Moody. After enlisting in the United States Army he received a Purple Heart during combat in the Korean War he returned to the US and performed with Specks Williams and joined Rhoda Scott's Trio in the early 1960s.[2][3][4]

Thomas recorded with organist Jimmy McGriff and released several albums under his own name in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[1]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

  • Speak Your Piece (Sue, 1964) - with Bill Elliott
  • Comin' Home (Cobblestone, 1968)
  • Joe Thomas is the Ebony Godfather (Today, 1971)
  • Joy of Cookin' (Groove Merchant, 1972)
  • Moog Fluting (General Recording Corporation/GRC, 1974) - as 'The Ebony Godfather'
  • Masada (Groove Merchant, 1975)
  • Feelin's from Within (Groove Merchant, 1976)
  • Here I Come (Lester Radio Corporation/LRC, 1977)
  • Get in the Wind (LRC, 1978)
  • Make Your Move (LRC, 1979)
  • Sweet Cocoa (51 West/CBS, 1980)
  • Flash (Chiaroscuro, 1980)

As sideman[edit]

With Jimmy McGriff

With Rhoda Scott

  • Hey, Hey, Hey (Tru-Sound, 1962)
  • Live!! At The Key Club (Tru-Sound, 1962)

With Buddy Terry


  1. ^ a b Eugene Chadbourne, Allmusic: Joe Thomas - Artist Biography, accessed April 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Jazzed Magazine Obituary, accessed April 16, 2018
  3. ^ Newark Jazz Elders, accessed April 16, 2018
  4. ^ Jazz Promo Services, accessed April 16, 2018