Composed by American jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, “St. Thomas” is based on a Virgin Island nursery song – derived from the traditional English song “The Lincolnshire Poacher” – which Rollins’s mother used to sing to him. The Virgin Island influence infuses this instrumental jazz standard with a distinct Caribbean vibe.

First recorded by Randy Weston under the title “Fire Down There” in his 1955 album Happy, “St. Thomas” gained popularity when it was released on Rollins’s 1956 album Saxophone Colossus.

“St. Thomas” has been covered by numerous musicians, including The Skatalites, Don Drummond and the Dallas Original Jazz Orchestra.

Tune in to First Take with Chavis and Lando  weekdays from 6-9 am MST – for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

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