I was watching a former supermodel on a late-night infomercial extolling the virtues of exfoliation — it renews your skin, keeps you looking youthful. And I thought, maybe she's on to something, only transported to a more existential plane. All that free-floating debris of the universe does settle on us as the years go by, slowing us down, making us slaves to gravity and routine. How to turn back these forces of inertia? EXFOLIATE! Slough off that old skin — and begin again. — Steve Thomas Steve Thomas & REAL INCOGNITO have been described as “a fancy indie rock band with jazzy and R&B influences.” Close enough. They also draw on reggae, Balkan odd meters, and North African gnawa music — all grist for Steve Thomas’s genre-bending songs, with their odd structures, existential takes on skin and dental care, oblique tributes to heroes Paul Motian and Robert Frank, and sly appreciation of the three-toed sloth. Steve Thomas & REAL INCOGNITO are: Steve Thomas (vocals/songs/arrangements) John Funkhouser (electric keyboards/backing vocals) Greg Loughman (electric bass/backing vocals) (The Amazing) Mike Connors (drums/percussion/stealth glockenspiel) + Karen Welling (backing vocals) Buy this CD/download at CD Baby

SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH/Steve Thomas and the Co-Conspirators

Eight of my original jazz songs, plus new takes on one each by Wayne Shorter and John Carisi, big influences for me. Maybe all we really are is spirit, the spark that draws people to us, the trail we leave behind. The songs on SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH were prompted by the spirits of friends, my father, Uncle Chuck Fisher, and a mysterious Mona Lisa grin . . . all breathed into life, spirit into material form, by the fabulous Co-Conspirators: John, Rich, and Gary. Steve Thomas: vocals, songs, arrangements; John Funkhouser: bass; Rich Greenblatt: vibraphone; Gary Fieldman: drums. Buy SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH at CD Baby.

GOT THE MAP/Steve Thomas

My first CD - vocal/piano duets with pianist Ben Schwendener on six of my original jazz songs. The songs are mine, but maybe they show traces of some of my heroes - Caetano Veloso of Bahia, Thelonious Monk of New York City, Tom Jobim of Rio de Janeiro, Steve Lacy of Paris, Johnny Carisi of "Israel." Besides being my long-time teacher, Ben's also a good friend, and it shows on this album. We recorded these performances live in his studio, and they feel like conversations between two pals on the same wave length. Steve Thomas: vocals, songs, arrangements. Ben Schwendener: piano, engineering/mixing, support, coffee. Buy GOT THE MAP at CD Baby.