Joe Thomas (trumpet)

Joe Thomas, a great swing trumpeter but not well-known by musicians, was regarded as a valuable player in the 1930s and 40s. In 1928, he made his professional debut with Cecil Scott. He also played in the Midwest with smaller-known groups like Eli Rice, Shuffle Abernathy, Harold Flood, and Darrell Harris. Thomas moved to New York in 1934 and was part of Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra before it disbanded. He also played with the reform group from 1936-1937. He was a member of Fats Waller’s Orchestra (1939-40), Willie Bryant’s Orchestra (1939-40), James P. Johnson (1942-1943), Joe Sullivan (1942-43) and Teddy Wilson’s Sextet (1942-1943). Thomas was a leader of his own bands and played with Cozy Cole (1948-1945) and Bud Freeman (1949-1949). He was a member of the Fletcher Henderson Reunion Band, 1957, and worked with Claude Hopkins (1966). In addition to his freelancing work into the 1970’s, he also freelanced. Joe Thomas recorded five four-song sessions over his career. One each for Onyx (those titles were not issued until the 1970’s), HRS and Keynote (1946), Seeco (in 1953), Atlantic (in 1958), an album that he shared with Vic Dickenson). Allmusic

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