There is something elemental about the jazz piano trio. It is classically called the "Rhythm Section," that practical subset of a larger ensemble that produces the pulse that propels the band and compositions the band plays. It is also the most enduring of jazz performance formats that has included the giants of jazz. Whether it is the cathedral of Oscar Peterson
, the interior world of Bill Evans
or the durable consistency of Red Garland
and Gene Harris
, the jazz piano trio remains the bottomless loam of musical creativity.
It is fortunate when a pianist emerges with a collective of the above influences that manifest in a singular voice. Pianist Ron Thomas is just such a musician. Thomas has released several previous recordings, including, The House of Counted Days
(Vectordisk, 2003), Music in Three Parts
(Art of Life Records, 2006), and Doloroso
(Art of Life Records, 2006) and these are just a start.
, Thomas, in the company of bassist Steve Meashey and drummer Chris Loser, spins out eight geometrical musical studies: five originals and three standards. "The Red Carpet" is a carefully crafted original that shows the curves and edges of Thomas' musical thought. "You Must Believe in Spring" is played as a fragrant pastoral with all of the ballad stops employed. Thomas' "rhythm section" of bass and drums provides an ample and responsive foundation.
"Things You Were" is Thomas' reworking of "All the Things You Are" that features a clever coda. The quiet centerpiece is a sensitive reading of the Bach-Gounod "Ave Maria," which is played with a creative reverence that honors the original intent and improvised outcome of the performance. Chris Loser's "Makers of Fine" is an urbane jazz-funk piece that is almost too delicate to be called that. Bill Evan's "Time Remembered" and Thomas' title piece sum up the accomplished pianism of the entire disc.
Ron Thomas has been gaining more and more recognition with every release. He is a pianist and composer with much to say. The liner notes were provided by All About Jazz colleague Dan McClenaghan, whose deep interest in Thomas and his music is informative and inspiring.
Track Listing: The Red Carpet; You Must Believe in Spring; Things You Were; Ave
(Bach-Gounod); Makers of Fine; Time Remembered; Impatience; Week 42.
Personnel: Ron Thomas: piano; Steve Meashey: bass; Chris Loser: drums.
Year Released: 2015
| Record Label: Vectordisc Records
| Style: Beyond Jazz