Yet another vinyl masterpiece, reissued to perfection, comes to us from Wewantsounds. This gem features a big player in the St. Louis jazz scene, Luther Thomas. From the label’s press release:
“A gang reunion, an effort of revitalization, a headbangers’ blowout, a legendary “lost” recording, a snapshot of its time, prophetic of sounds to come – Funky Donkey is all those things, but worth attention most ’cause after 50 years it’s still fun to hear. Alto saxophonist-ringleader Luther Thomas and his St. Louis cohort comprising the Human Arts Ensemble live large on this album, conveying as if right now the sense of adventure, ambition, spontaneity and freedom resulting in a hard-core musical experience, suggesting others try the same.
In the early 1970s the St. Louis jazz scene had enjoyed a renaissance and suffered a talent-drain. It was known then and today for the Black Artists’ Group, a cooperative which, through a local arts support program generated in part by the great dancer-choreographer-ethnographer Katherine Dunham’s Performing Arts Training Center had given rise to composer-saxophonists Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake and Hamiett Bluiett (later, 3/4s of the World Saxophone Quartet) among many other creative musicians, dance and theater troupes and new arts presenters.”