Music: Sonny Rollins
Original Artist: Sonny Rollins
Original Album: Saxophone Colossus (1956)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2014-07-18
"St. Thomas" is a composition that so many bands have played that it long ago entered the pantheon of jazz standards. The Sonny Rollins’ original – first appearing on the tenor saxophonist’s 1956 pioneering recording Saxophone Colossus – also featured the talents of Max Roach, Tommy Flanagan, and Doug Watkins.
Phish is known to have performed “St. Thomas” only once, on 5/21/88 at Nectar’s, though it was very likely also performed by the Johnny B. Fishman Jazz Ensemble (Phish’s late 80s jazz moniker, for which we have precious few confirmed setlists).
Sonny Rollins, “St. Thomas”
“St. Thomas" was a staple of the side projects Bad Hat (Trey, Fish and Jamie Masefield, see 1/24/94, 2/23/94, 9/11/94) as well as Jamie Mansfield's Jazz Mandolin Project (featuring Fish, see 1/14/04, 7/1/04, 2/20/09). Additional takes on this classic from members of Phish can be found from Trey’s performance at the National Guitar Summit Workshop on 7/5/93; Mike sitting in with Gordon Stone Band on 3/5/95 and with Doug Perkins and Jamie Masefield on 2/4/99; and Fish with the Everyone Orchestra on 10/7/06.
Phish has also teased “St. Thomas” multiple times: a stand-alone tease preceding “Antelope” on 4/21/90, during the 11/23/91 “BBFCFM” (with Dave Grippo), and in “Ya Mar” on 7/10/97. Seventeen years would pass before the song would again grace the Phish stage even if briefly, but when it did it came in a wave with teases in three consecutive shows: 7/12/14 (“Hood”), 7/13/14 (“Light”), and 7/15/14 (“Antelope”).