Thursday Group is (left to right):
Clayton Englar (tenor, soprano and bass sax; flute; penny whistles), Douglas Lichterman (guitar; dumbek), Jim Kerwin (bass), Tony Manno (drums – “Uncle Mean”), Vinnie Johnson (drums – “Thursday Group” & “Uncle Mean”)
About Thursday Group:
Thursday Group was an original jazz-fusion quartet co-lead by guitarist Douglas Lichterman and Clayton Englar on saxes & flute. Featuring from the start mostly original Lichterman compositions, the group performed regularly at several venues in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 70’s, including the legendary Keystone Korner. In 1980 the group relocated to the East Coast when Lichterman moved to New York City and Englar to Maryland. After recruiting a new rhythm section, they began performing again in NYC. This eventually led to their first album, “Thursday Group”, co-produced by Lichterman and Englar in 1982 for the guitarist’s newly-formed Pathfinder Records. By 1988, the label had grown substantially – signing such artists as Bill Connors, John Abercrombie, Richard Beirach, and the quartet Quest – and released Thursday Group’s second album, “Uncle Mean.”
Excerpts from Thursday Group (Pathfinder Records, 1983) and Uncle Mean (Pathfinder Records, 1988):
(all comp. & arr. © 1983/1988 by D. Lichterman – Pelican Fan Music/BMI; except * – trad., arr. by D. Lichterman)
If you like what you hear, head over to the Order CD’s page where you can download these tracks in addition to material from other groups.
…the tunes are nearly impossible to forget once heard, including the title cut, Uncle Mean. It’s an up-tempo swing featuring some soulful soloing by (saxophonist) Clayton Englar.
– Option Magazine
Led by Lichterman’s cunning guitar style and Englar’s husky sax sound, the quintet travels in daring directions.
Lichterman’s…broad washes and jagged leads (recalling John Scofield) move closely in and around Englar’s horn leads. While the pair carve out quirky, skewed pathways that both swing freely and chop abrasively, the rhythm section keeps things juiced with a twin-drum attack and a bass player that rumbles and grooves at ground level.
– CMJ New Music Report
…avoids excess and cliche, while subtly blending swing, funk, rock and blues in a cookin’ brew. Douglas Lichterman plays with a searing yet gutsy tone…The lead is often held by saxophonist Clayton Englar, who is as exciting as all get out, especially on soprano.
– Option Magazine