This week has robbed the world of two music visionaries, one performing in front of the audience, the other behind the scenes, the work of both familiar to millions – many of who don’t even know these masters’ names.
Ray Thomas, who died on Thursday, aged 76, was one of the founders of THE MOODY BLUES and stayed with his band until 2012 when the veteran retired. Flautist of delicate caliber, it’s his main instrument that delivers a magnificent solo on “Nights In White Satin” and colored many an ensemble piece. Thomas also released a couple of solo albums, but – thriving in a collective environment – was always ready to lend a hand in recording of other artists’ projects, his latest contributions being parts on "Melancholy Sea" by THE PINDER BROTHERS and "Eros & Thanatos" from SYNDONE. Ray’s playing lived up to his name, and he will be sorely missed.
As will Chris Tsangarides, the sound-master of such classics as “Parisienne Walkways” – although his Grammy nomination came in for “Painkiller” by JUDAS PRIEST. Tsangarides – who passed away on Sunday at the age of 61 – started his career with PRIEST as engineer, and it was Gary Moore who gave Chris a break in the main chair for the guitarist’s "Back On The Streets" which opened a route for the producer to work with many hard rock movers, including THIN LIZZY, Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Bruce Dickinson. Yet Tsangarides’ CV also listed JAPAN, Tom Jones and Jan Hammer – very diverse players, to say the least – while fairly recently Chris stood behind the folk rock latter-day masterpieces, STEELEYE SPAN’s “Wintersmith” and “The Ferryman’s Curse” by STRAWBS, which seems to be the master’s last project. He also occasionally played guitar for metallers EXMORE / MORE 2012 that allowed the veteran to let it loose. Possessed with a great sense of humor, they don’t make it like this anymore.