7

David Bennett Thomas: Deeper Journey

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
David Bennett Thomas: Deeper Journey 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 Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Inside The Moment" CD/LP/Track Review Inside The Moment
by James Nadal
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Mingus, Mingus, Mingus" CD/LP/Track Review Mingus, Mingus, Mingus
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Lost at Last" CD/LP/Track Review Lost at Last
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.