All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Rich Thompson: Less is More

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer and educator Rich Thompson's third release as a leader Less is More, on the Seattle based Origin records, is a suave mix of quintessential hard bop standards; show tunes and a couple of originals that is full of delightful group dynamics and individual virtuosity. Thompson leads his quartet with a relaxed confidence and impeccable dexterity all the while maintaining both a thematic unity and a uniform excellence throughout.

Opening with trumpeter Kenny Dorham's "Lotus Blossom" the record kicks in high gear with horn player Terell Stafford's burnished, rapid fire trumpet improvisation that blows over the percolating vamps of the rhythm trio. The momentum does not slack until the last notes of the final track; saxophonist Joe Henderson penned "Step Lightly." The latter features tenorist Doug Stone's gritty, wail blowing over keyboardist Gary Versace's thick, resonant Hammond B3 lines.

Stone matches his heady, vibrato filled, tone to Thompson's darkly hued, harmonically rich drums in the achingly beautiful duet take of the Rodgers and Hart "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." The classic song is peppered with Latin hints and cloaked in a captivating crepuscular ambiance.

Versace showcases his total mastery of the piano as well as the organ as he switches from one to the other with finesse and facility. On the title piece Versace's pianism manifests as cascading, intricately woven, spontaneous phrases that match the complexity of the main motif. Stafford's clear, mellow flugelhorn states the melody with reserved passion and a touch of melancholy. Bassist Jeff Campbell's lyrical and intelligent solo concludes this Thompson composition with elegance.

Meanwhile Campbell's own "Hoot Gibson" highlights Versace's skills on the Hammond B3 as he lays down a unique blend of psychedelic sounds and earthy grooves. Stafford's muted horn growls with soulful swagger as Campbell builds exuberant refrains that slide along greasy organ chords.

Thompson's engaging and enjoyable album is neither necessarily innovative nor groundbreaking. It does, however, have a certain intriguing quality because of the superlative artistry of the band members and their sophisticated approach to the material. The deceptive ease with which they interpret the music makes for a pleasurable listening experience.

Track Listing: Lotus Blossom; Hoot Gibson; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Camping Out; Less Is More; Invisible; It's So Easy To Remember; This Is For Albert; I've Never Been In Love Before; Step Lightly.

Personnel: Terell Stafford: trumpet/flugelhorn (1-2, 4-9); Doug Stone: tenor saxophone (3,10); Gary Versace: piano, Hammond B3; Jeff Campbell: bass; Rich Thompson: drums.

Title: Less Is More | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Less is More

Less is More

Rich Thompson
Less Is More

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Less Is More

Less Is More

Origin Records
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!" CD/LP/Track Review You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Don't You Wish?" CD/LP/Track Review Don't You Wish?
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Osmosis" CD/LP/Track Review Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "2" CD/LP/Track Review 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "speak between" CD/LP/Track Review speak between
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 3, 2018
Read "Whose Feet are These That are Walking" CD/LP/Track Review Whose Feet are These That are Walking
by Mike Jacobs
Published: October 9, 2017