Luther Thomas & Dizzazz

Luther Thomas & Dizzazz were an American avant-jazz/funk band from St. Louis that released the album Yo’ Momma on the German Moers Music label in 1981.

Members: Luther Thomas (alto saxophone), John Mulkerin (trumpet), Frank Cruz (trumpet), Marvin Neal (trombone), Stanley Banks (bass), Warren Benbow (drums), Billy “Spaceman” Patterson (lead guitar), Ronald Muldrow (rhythm guitar), Dani Petroni (rhythm guitar), Steve Kroon (percussion)

Saxophonist Luther Thomas (June 23, 1950 — Sept. 8, 2009) first recorded with the Human Arts Ensemble, joining for their 1973 sophomore release Poem of Gratitude. He appeared on four HAE albums, including the 1977 release Funky Donkey Vol. 1, on which he gets featured name status.

In 1979, he played alongside Frank Lowe on the album Sweet Space by the Billy Bang Sextet and collaborated with trombonist Joseph Bowie on the Moers Music release I Can’t Figure Out (Whatcha Doin’ To Me), produced by Jef Gilson. That same year, Thomas released his first solo album, 11th Street Fire Suite, on Creative Consciousness Records.

Thomas assembled Dizzazz for the 1981 Moers release Yo’ Momma. It features 10 originals, including “Deathwish,” “Turned Me On – Turned Me Out,” “Six Month in Reform School,” and “Nervous Breakdown.” Those last two tracks were issued as a 7″ single with the same cover picture as the album.

Dizzazz featured an array of players, including trumpeter John Mulkerin (James White & the Blacks, Defunkt), bassist Stanley Banks (George Benson, Harvey Mason, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff), drummer Warren Benbow (Larry Willis, The Jammers, James Blood Ulmer), and guitarists Billy “Spaceman” Patterson (Masabumi Kikuchi, Gwen Guthrie, D Train, Working Week) and Ronald Muldrow (Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Les DeMerle, Hubert Laws). Yo’ Momma was co-produced by Thomas and Moers label-head Burkhard Hennen. 

Thomas subsequently played on Defunkt’s 1981 single “The Razor’s Edge” and the 1982/83 James White albums Sax Maniac and Flaming Demonics. In 1988, he appeared alongside Don Cherry and Brand X bassist Percy Jones on the album Constant Fear by Paranoise.


  • Yo’ Momma (1981)


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