"Fade To Blue opens another fertile chapter in a long line of jazz giants from east of the St. Louis Arch. Illinois natives Mardra & Reggie Thomas swing, serenade and ultimately seduce the seasoned listener in this debut recording. Their all-star aggregation includes bassist Zeb Briskovich, drummer Montez Coleman, clarinetist Scott Alberici and guitarist Tom Byrne.
Mardra Thomas is known for her realistic portrayal of Billie Holiday in concert and on the theatrical stage. You will hear a true jazz vocalist with a voice well suited to showcase Holiday’s sculptured phrasing that stamped a signature style on jazz singing. Mardra’s music career was sparked in the St. Louis area when she performed for the opening of Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th Birthday Concert. Shortly thereafter she found herself trading scat solos with world-class trumpeter Clark Terry while performing with the East St. Louis Lincoln Big Band under the direction of renowned educator Ronald Carter.