Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

David Bennett Thomas: Deeper Journey

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist David Bennett Thomas takes inspiration from God's word. Not unlike Finish pianist/harpist Iro Haarla, on her beautiful duet set Kirkastus (TUM Records, 2015), with saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, where Biblical Psalms informed the music, Thomas' Deeper Journey goes to the Bible for inspiration on half the tunes on this meticulously crafted, subtle—yet modern and adventurous—set of songs.

On his previous recording, Headspace (Vectordisc, 2013), Thomas assembled a stellar ensemble, with drummer Erik Johnson and bassist Micah Jones, along with saxophonist Joel Frahm. He's carried that crew over, along with the wild card on that disc, who shines also on Deeper Journey: John Swana and his contribution on EVI (electronic valve instrument), a new age instrument that injects a forward-leaning sound into an often chamber like atmosphere. It's a sound that—in spite of it's plugged-in aspect—adds a modern, off-kilter warmth to the proceedings.

The Bossa Nova-ish "Coasting Home" glides. Frahm's rough-hewn sax solo brings some grit to the smooth flow. Swana's EVI solo brims with a pinpoint electro-beauty. "Come To The Waters" glows with serenity. Robert Frazier guests on French horn; Jeffrey Solow sits in on cello. Thomas lays down a lovely, delicate-of-touch piano solo, and in the background, guitarist Vic Juris adds understated vamp, before he gets his turn with a warm acoustic statement.

Thomas doesn't limit himself jazz. He also composes orchestral, choral and chamber works, and that aspect of his work seeps inevitably into his jazz offerings—the polish and the exactitude. "First Frost" has a orchestral feel—with, again French horn and cello included in the mix. The highlight, "Abraham and Isaac," includes French horn and trombone (Jarred Antonacci), producing a sound that can be compared to that of composer/arranger Gil Evans, or perhaps Herbie Hancock's overlooked Speak Like A Child (Blue Note Records, 1968) set.

The disc's title tune rides a swirl of spiritual mystery, with Frahm's tenor and Swana's EVI circling each other in the updraft of the beautifully-crafted arrangement, on a set that represents a forward leap for David Bennett Thomas.

Track Listing: Coasting Home; Come To The Waters; Wandering Song; First Frost; All The Days; Abraham and Isaac; Hope; Elevator Etiquette; One Horse Town; Deeper Journey; How Lonely Sits The City.

Personnel: David Bennett Thomas: piano; Joel Frahm: soprano and tenor saxophones (1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 11); John Swana: EVI (!, 3, 8, 10); Vic Juris: guitar; Micah Jones: bass; Erik Johnson: drums; Robert Frazier: French horn (2, 4, 6); Jeffrey Soloqw: cello (2, 4); Jarred Antonacci: trombone (6).

Title: Deeper Journey | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Vectordisc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Two Calls" CD/LP/Track Review Two Calls
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "Bloodroot" CD/LP/Track Review Bloodroot
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Apocalypse" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Due North" CD/LP/Track Review Due North
by Doug Collette
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "In All My Holy Mountain" CD/LP/Track Review In All My Holy Mountain
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!