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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas/Paul Klinefelter: Duo

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas: Duo

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The poet John Keats famously wrote: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever." That's the kind of album this is. It's one stretch of beautiful playing from beginning to end. It's not a “statement," it's not a “thing," it's not a “groove." It's just music that, taken as a whole becomes an “objet d'art," something special to have in your collection and listen to over and over again because its perfection draws you towards it. Pianist Ron ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas Trio: Impatience

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A brief glance at pianist Ron Thomas' website is enlightening, to say the least. He chronicles his life there, providing a detailed biography, a rundown of commercially available compositions, a list of his colleagues, mp3 files, a discography, essays, videos, photos, teaching information, and a list of influences, with names both familiar (Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock) and relatively unknown (Ron Dewar, Dennis Sandole) to many jazz fans and musicians. But to really get to know Thomas, you need only spend ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas: Impatience

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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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Leron Thomas: Zen-Mode Humor

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The chances of four people conducting a Google search on Leron Thomas that result in all four of them to make the same conclusion about the trumpeter is low. While certain facts--like his time at High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) in Houston and The New School in New York--will remain true, arguments might arise about the genre he plays and what his role as an artist is. A listen to “Silly Ass," the first track on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas: Two Lonely People

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A spin through pianist Ron Thomas's discography as a leader doesn't always directly point toward the music found on Two Lonely People. His two masterful trio outings, Music in Three Parts (Art of Life Records, 2006) and Doloroso (Art of Life Records, 2006) are both full of abstract and elastic originals; the highly electric and compellingly otherworldly Elysium (Vectordisc, 2009) stretches the boundaries way, way “out there"; and his 17 Solo Piano Improvisations (Vectordisc, 2006) leans heavily on the pianist's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Rose / Ron Thomas: Galaxy

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On Galaxy a couple of mainstream jazz guys sit down and plug in to see where the interstellar winds will take them.The profiles of guitarist Bobby Rose and keyboardist Ron Thomas, subject to the laws of gravity, have not achieved the heights commensurate with their talent--an old jazz story. But both are immensely creative artists. The duo has recorded, separately, albums with guitarist Pat Martino: the mainstream Footprints (Muse records, 1972) and the early foray into what we ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas / John Swana / Joe Mullen: Elysium

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The sound of Elysium is, in a word, otherworldly. Then throw in the electro-industrial tinge and cold liquid submersion resonance--like the noise of a high tech blacksmith shop on a distant planet with a dense atmosphere and heavier than Earth gravity like Neptune--music of an alien culture, or songs played for cryogenically suspended astronauts slumbering their way across vast expanses of space.Such are the sounds created by keyboardist Ron Thomas, trumpeter John Swana and drummer Joe Mullen.


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