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Rene Thomas

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Biography

One of the finest European jazz guitarists to emerge during the 1950s, René Thomas appeared on many sessions with Americans during the next few decades. Influenced as one might expect by Django Reinhardt, Thomas was mostly self-taught and by the 1950s he was a greatly in-demand cool-toned guitarist, playing in a style similar to Jimmy Raney's. In addition to performing with the top European jazz musicians, Thomas worked with Chet Baker (1955), lived in Montreal during 1958-1963, played with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Sonny Rollins, was back in Europe by 1963, and during the next few years worked with Kenny Clarke, Lou Bennett, and Han Bennink among many others. During the 1969-1972 period, Thomas was a member of Stan Getz's European Band (with whom he recorded Dynasty). He died of a sudden heart attack in Spain when he was 47. As a leader, Thomas recorded for Vogue (1954), Barclay, Polydor, Jazzland (1960), RCA, Royal Jazz, and the Italian Vogel label (1974).

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Born:

February 25, 1927 in Liege, Belgium

Genre
Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

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