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Ron Thomas/Paul Klinefelter: Duo

Dan McClenaghan By

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Pianist Ron Thomas' talents range widely, from his Karlheinz Stockhausen-influenced electric outings like Elysium (Vectordisc, 2009), through his fluid free association piano trio sets, Music In Three Parts (Art Of Life Records, 2006) and Doloroso (Art of Life Records, 2006), to his mainstream outings that draw their inspiration from the late pianist Bill Evans—Two Lonely People (Vectordisc, 2011) and Blues For Zaranthustra (Art Of Life Records, 2008), a pairing a duo set with bassist Paul Klinefelter.

Duo is a teaming, once again, of Thomas and Klinefelter, celebrating the spirit and artistry of Bill Evans. The sound and mood is reminiscent of Evans' duo recording with bassist Eddie Gomez, on the album Intuition (Fantasy Records, 1974).

The celebratory symbiosis of Thomas and Klinefelter has every bit of the depth of expression and melodic and harmonic erudition and verve of the Evans/Gomez pairing, on this set of well-chosen down-tempo tunes, opening with the familiar "Black Orpheus." Thomas' exquisitely supple touch is on full display, as he and Klinefelter turn the tune into a haunting and melancholy seven minute masterpiece. The bass is recorded with a clarity that showcases Klinefelter's adeptness at nuance and interplay, and sometimes subtle, sometimes forthright enhancements of Thomas' melodic phrasing.

"Young and Foolish," another standard, has sweet, yearning mood. "Stella By Starlight," brims with reverence, tinged with joy, and Antonio Carlo Jobim's "Once I Loved" has a gliding, beyond-words loveliness, a playful elegance every bit the equal in execution to highest level piano balladry out there, with a perfect feeling for the human emotions reflected in this, and all of the compositions on the outstanding set.

Track Listing: Black Orpheus; Young and Foolish; Stella By Starlight; Here’s that Rainy Day; My Foolish Heart; Once I Loved; F Minor; Invitation.

Personnel: Ron Thomas, piano; Paul Klinefelter, bass.

Title: Duo | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Vectordisc Records

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