January 27


Cave 22, Liege, Belgium

Walter Strerath Trio plays this night and Rene Thomas, who was not scheduled, sits in with the the band. Personnel is Walter Strerath (piano), Gert Putz (drums), Andrers Scheel (bass). We can see on the photo that Rene does not play on his guitar.

The club "Cave 22" is more a mini-concert hall than a cafe. It opens under the name "L'affronte Djubet" in 1972, at 22, Rue Roture, the street of Jazz in Liege. Most of the concerts are produced by J.M. Hacquier and Arthur Bellens who make play some famous jazzmen : Bill Evans played at the "Cave 22" before 280 people. The club closes in April or May 1974.


April 4 ->
April 8

'Jazz Power' club, Milan, Italy

Rene Thomas is in Milan with his own trio for a week.


April 28

Cave 22, Liege, Belgium

For this concert, Rene Thomas joins, for a few tunes, belgian jazz-rock band "Solis Lacus" which is composed by Michel Herr (piano), Richard Rousselet (trumpet), Robert Jeanne (tenor sax), Felix Simtaine (drums), Freddie Deronde (bass).





May 12

Cave 22, Liege, Belgium

This concert is produced by J.M.Hacquier who manages to bring Pelzer, Sadi (first time since the Bob-Shots) and Thomas together. Apart the 3 leaders, the personnel is : Tony Bauwens (piano), Roger Vanhaverbek (bass), Jean-Louis Baudouin (bass) and Freddie Rottier (drums). They notably play Theme For Freddie, Now's The Time, Broadway in a room full to bursting.



The Subway, Koln, Germany

A concert with drummer Eric Ineke and bassist Henk Haverhoek.


August 17

Middleheim Jazz Festival, Anvers, Belgium

At Sonny Rollins' request, Rene Thomas joins Rollins band to play Miles Davis composition Four. But the rumour says that during this concert, Rene Thomas appears suddenly on the stage between two songs and he falls upon Yoshiaki Masuo (S.Rollins guitarist) to take his guitar ... Sonny Rollins, who finds that very funny, introduces R.Thomas with enthusiasm as his "belgian friend". All this has been broadcasted by the BRT. Here are a photo by Jean-Pol Hubin (all rights reserved) and an article from the Nieuwe Gazet (20/08) :




August 24 International NOS Jazz Festival, Laren, Holland

Rene Thomas is here with a special guest Etienne Verschueren on alto sax. Rob Franken is playing fenderpiano, Wim Essed on bass and Eric Ineke on drums. Here are the poster and a photo of Rene Thomas, taken from the book of Hanz Kroeze, "International Jazz Festival" :






The concert is recorded and broadcasted by a dutch radio : they notably play a long version of My Wife Marie and I Remember Sonny. Here are the programme and a report by Marten Derksen in Utrechts Nieuswblad newspaper (11/08 and 25/08). M.Derksen says that Verschueren played his solos with much drive, but was more important as the playing coordinator of the group and a "straight man" for Thomas. He adds that Rene Thomas, who has developped a unique guitar style based on be-bop, went at it in a positive way, with beautiful solos, building up to a climax. Dutch Newspaper Daglad Trouw writes that Thomas conjured up a series of beautifully swinging, dancing guitar choruses from a rich arsenal of bop, in which subtle references were heard to well known evergreens.





September 22

Cave 22, Liege, Belgium

Another concert at the Cave 22 produced by J.M. Hacquier. This time, Jacques Pelzer's daughter, Micheline, plays the drums. She has just 23 years old and is playing for several years, particularly free jazz. Bass player is Alby Cullaz, Maurice Cullaz' son and one of Thomas' sidemen during several parisian concerts.





Trip to Montreal, Canada

At the beginning of November, Rene visits his sister Juliette who still lives in Monreal. During his stay, he composes the wonderful ballad Juliette dedicated to her, and plays several concerts and radio shows.


December 14

Church of St John The Evengelist, Montreal, Canada

Rene Thomas plays his last canadian concert in a Montreal church, and for the first time, it's a solo one. Repertoire is: You Stepped Out Of A Dream, Like Someone In Love, Monk's Mood, Cherokee, My Wife Marie, 'Round Midnight. Here are the poster and a report by Len Dobbin in the Montreal Gazette (issued at Thomas' death)






Return to Europe

After a 6 weeks stay in Montreal, Rene Thomas leaves for Belgium.


December 28

Theater de Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, Holland

This concert, produced by Aad Bos, celebrates the Jazzaward winner Leo Cuypers. Rene Thomas, guitarist Wim Overgaauw, bassist Harry Miller and drummer Han Bennink notably play All The Things You Are, Body And Soul and Star Eyes. The concert is recorded and broadcasted by Dutch radio The Vara. Here is a report in dutch newspaper Utrechts Nieuwsblad (29/12) by Maarten Derksen.




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