By Cornelius White
Nu-Jazz Saxophonist Conrad Butch" Thomas may be new to the charts in the United States, but he's no neophyte to the global music industry. His career spans 30 years of featured performance and recordings by the likes of Jaco Pastorius, Lenny Kravitz, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Sting.
Born and raised in St Louis, Missouri, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music (1983) from Webster University. Very soon after graduating, he relocated to New York City, where he established a relationship with the great instrumentalist and composer Jaco Pastorius (featured on Pastorius recordings Punk Jazz" and NYC Jam" and featured live from 1983-1987).
Then, as they say, the rest is history. He continued to perform with a Whos Who" of music entertainment including The Temptations (1986), Thomas Dolby (1988), Dave Valentin (1988) and Lenny Kravitz (1989).
His ambidextrous florid jazz style placed him comfortably in the company of an eclectic roster including The College Boyz, The Cult, Tyrone Davis (1990) and the rock group Living Colour (1991).
He's received a number of video credits including Lenny Kravitz hit It Aint Over Til Its Over"
, Queen Latifah'sHow Do I Love Thee"
and Sting's You Still Touch Me"
. It was during this time that the directors of the hit FOX Network detective series New York Undercover called him to appear with a number of featured guests including Al Jarreau, Al Green, Mavis Stables, Mary J. Blige, and many others.
Through a referral, the call came from superstar singer/guitarist Sting, where he toured extensively in 1996-97. It was through these appearances that he was placed in demand by yet another hierarchy of stars e.g. James Taylor, Elton John, Diana Ross and a feature spot on the UK version of Aretha Franklin's 1998 hit song A Rose Is Still A Rose" written and produced by singer/songwriter Lauren Hill.
Giving the European market a try, he created a devout following in the United Kingdom where he receives a great deal of radio air time via new media markets.
As an independent artist, he was awarded the Gold Artist Winner from the 2008 Radio Indy Awards because of the quality of his debut recording, produced and engineered by none other than CD Baby founder, Derek Sivers. Butch Thomas recording ensemble includes a masterful entourage of musicians including David Gwynne (Drums), Derek Sivers (programming, string and horn arrangments), Erik Stams, (Drums) Felix Ruiz (Keyboards), Michael Curtis Ruiz (Electric and Acoustic Bass), Henry Defoe (Electric guitar), Jason Rogers (Electric Bass), Richard Fortus (Electric Guitar) and Pete Oxley (Electric Guitar).
The entire debut CD is infectious from the beginning Blues for Miles, through the radio friendly The Wings of Time and danceable Caribbean Woman.
Its a smooth feeling CD one can play continuously!
Produced by Derek Sivers, Executive Producer, Butch Thomas ASCAP/CONTOM MUSIC 2008
Songs Include: 1. Blues For Miles" (C. Thomas) 2. That Thang" (C. Thomas, Peter Oxley) 3. Sao Paulo" (C. Thomas) 4. The Wings of Time" (C. Thomas) 5. Ooga Booga" (C. Thomas) 6. By The Sea" (C. Thomas) 7. Caribbean Woman" (C. Thomas) 8. You Dig?" (C. Thomas) 9. All That You Do" (C. Thomas)