Declared James Brown “Fred is the most sampled bass player in the world!” No matter how hard Mr. Brown worked, if it were not for his voltage enhanced sidemen, there would be no soul – hence no Godfather! Brown’s rhythm section bassists are legendary, boasting the extraordinary talents of Bootsy Collins, David “Hooks” Williams, Bernard Odum, Hubert Perry, Tim Drummond, Bob West, and Charles “Sweet” Sherrell, among others, and my personal favorite – Fred Thomas. Mr. Thomas, who somehow was able to articulate the JBs’ killer up-tempo passages with this right thumb exclusively plying down-strokes, served The Hardest Working Man in Show Business for thirty plus years, distinguishing himself of such seminal Brown sides as the live Revolution of the Mind (1971), Get On the Good Foot (1972), and The Payback (1973), among other LPs. That’s Fred on “Hot Pants,” “Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” and Make It Funky Part I” to cite a few. Fred’s deep tone, perfect note choices, and rhythmic variations are further proof that you don’t have to be flashy to be funky! Fred Thomas is still grooving in the studio and on the bandstand as a leader and an in-demand collaborator.