Garner Thomas
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Garner Thomas

Los Angeles, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF | AFM

Los Angeles, CA | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Jazz R&B




" Review of "When You Hold Me""

Guys when I'm auditioning music from new artists this is the type of CD that I'm looking for. It has originality in the song selections, the approach of the music and the variety of styles that Thomas presents to us. He covers a few different avenues of Contemporary Jazz like the up beat, moving groove "Workin' Late," to the very romantic and pretty "Wherever You Are." One of my favorites on the disc is a blues oriented "Groove Thang" that just screamed at me to burn.. "Go On" is just plain hip. There are some vocal tracks on. They tend to be more on the R&B/Pop vein, but "All Dressed Up" had this sultry quality to it that stood out to me. - Jeff Charney

"Swiss Groove Review of "When You Hold Me""

I recently came across Garner Thomas' CD on and I very much liked what I heard, from the very first funky jazzy upbeat groove "Workin' late," to the last track, a lullaby called "So beautiful". The album has beautifully arranged instrumentals, as well as harmonic vocalized songs, ranging from soul and smooth jazz to crunchy funk and groovy R&B. Over his musical career, Thomas has worked with people such as Prince, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines, and many others. He had musical training on the piano from the tender age of 8, but was later guided by his mother towards learning how to play the saxophone. His father, an audiophile, introduced to him many classical and jazz recordings that influenced his taste of music and most probably his current work. Thomas' debut album contains fine music; it's similar to other good music we have heard, and always something very worthwhile listening to. SwissGroove's playlist contains the mid-/up-tempo songs "Workin' Late", "Put Your Collar Up", "Groove Thang", "Feel The Fire", "Solid Ground", "All Dressed Up" and "Lemme Git A Minute". - Swiss Groove

" Review of "When You Hold Me""

Appealing, engaging ballads, funky jams, and tasty vocals…that’s what you’ll be enjoying when you include this album in your Smooth Jazz collection! The thing you’ll notice early-on with this talented saxman is his impressive breath control (he’s mastered the art of circular breathing) as showcased especially on the disc’s incredible ballads. Check out the title track, as well as “Wherever You Are,” “Baby’s Song,” the exceptional cover of “Calling You” from Bagdad Café, and the lush, heartfelt “So Beautiful.” Garner Thomas, Southern California-based now after many years in the Puget Sound area of Western Washington, started his musical training in Virginia at the age of eight, beginning with piano, working into classical piano studies and eventually the saxophone. This solid music upbringing is evident throughout WHEN YOU HOLD ME! He caresses a ballad in a way that will remind you of Kenny G or the late George Howard. But Garner’s equally impressive on the album’s more uptempo tracks, such as “Workin’ Late” and our spotlight song, “Lemme Git a Minute,” which features some dazzling scatting from Morris O’Connor. WHEN YOU HOLD ME also features four vocals, with top-notch performances from both Elaine Gibbs and Deedee Foster. All in all, this is a most excellent project from Garner Thomas, with quality material, superb musicianship, and first-rate production. You’ll like it, and you’ll find yourself, as I am, looking forward to hearing much more from this promising newcomer! - Scott O'Brien

"Garnering Audience Response"

The notes went on so long, and people loved it. - Zan Stewart, Los Angeles Times

"KOOL Jazz Festival"

Pianist Allen Youngblood and reedman Garner Thomas took the crowd by storm ... - Seattle Times

"Jazz Band Overwhelms Crowd"

The crowd gave him thunderous applause, coupled with shouts, whistles, and cheers. - Frank Milton McCoy, Ph.D - Los Angeles Sentinel

"Thomas Captivates Audience"

His expert breath control left the ecstatic audience sighing in awe. - Frank Milton McCoy, Ph.D - Los Angeles Sentinel

"Special Presentation: The Quarterly Review - The Cool Groove of Summer!"

Workin' Late - Garner Thomas: A native of San Antonio, Texas, Thomas began studying classical piano at the age of eight. It was Thomas's mother who first urged him to try the sax and it was his father who exposed Garner to classical and jazz recordings. The combination of these factors influenced Thomas greatly so that by the time he was eighteen, he had won various competitions and had performed in a number of honour bands around the world. Eventually, relocating to Seattle, Thomas began to compose and perform in clubs, concerts, and jazz festivals where he earned a reputation as an exciting soloist. Garner now resides in Valley Village, California where he's become well known on the music scene as a performer, studio player as well as for his work in movies and television. He's appeared with Prince, Diane Schuur, Sammy Davis Jr., The Temptations, The Four Tops, and Little Richard and has been warmly embraced by audiences on three continents. Noted for his circular breathing technique and for his ability to play two saxes simultaneously, When You Hold Me is his just released debut. From that effort we have a track that is sure to have you moving all around the room. Check out the hot sounds of Garner Thomas as he puts in some overtime on an energetic track titled Workin' Late! - Jazzlynx - Cafe Jazz Radio


When You Hold Me - Garner Thomas



By the time saxophonist Garner Thomas reached the age of eighteen, he accrued top marks in various musical competitions and performed in numerous honor bands throughout the world. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Western Washington University. Upon entering the music scene in that region, he then began composing originals and performing in clubs, concerts, and jazz festivals, earning a reputation as an exciting soloist. Since those days, he migrated to California where he's worked with such noted artists as Prince, Diane Schuur, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines, Stephanie Mills, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Little Richard, and many other notable performing artists.

The fine world-class musicians in his band have also worked with many name entertainers. His keyboardist Curtis Brengle has performed with Sheena Easton, Tom Scott, Rick Braun, Englebert Humperdink, The Pointer Sisters, and numerous others. Drummer Greg Brown has gigged with Sarah Vaughn, Freda Payne, Mary Wilson, Suzanne Somers, Otis Day & the Knights, Bloodstone, Bobby Womack, and a host of other stars. And last, but certainly not least, bassist Del Atkins has worked with Seal, Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Dr. Dre, The Pointer Sisters, Jessica Simpson, Norah Jones, Warren G, Mary J Blige, Howard Hewitt, and scores of other headliners.

Garner's debut album, When You Hold Me, encompasses contemporary and traditional jazz treatments as well as some exciting and imaginative innovations. His fusion of urban funk in his original music inspires much more than mere foot-tapping. But, the full force of his uniqueness is felt best in his live performances, with his unparalleled breath control (he can maintain his circular breathing so long it'll make you dizzy just listening), and his singular ability to play 2 saxes at once during a solo. With extensive performances in concerts, recording sessions, and movies, Garner is a seasoned and accomplished artist who's warmly embraced by audiences here and around the world. You won't want to miss him.

Band Members