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ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Thomas' Endless Mountain Region: Ben Thomas' Endless Mountain Region

Read "Ben Thomas' Endless Mountain Region" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Ben Thomas' Endless Mountain Region, the debut album by this eponymous trio led by bassist Thomas--is dedicated, according to Thomas' rather funky website, “to exploring the freedom of a chordless trio." It undertakes this exploration on a series of original tunes--three each from Thomas and drummer Aaron Staebell, one from saxophonist Tony Malaby--and a version of saxophonist Ornette Coleman's “WRU," all of which were recorded live at Rochester, New York's Contemporary Art Center in November 2010.Thomas and Staebell ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Thomas: The Mystagogue

Read "The Mystagogue" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Seattle vibraphonist Ben Thomas offers a swinging, pulsing quintet sound on his second release, The Mystagogue. Thomas augments his core vibe/piano quartet with one of three clarinet and saxophone players on most of the tracks on the record, lending a ever-changing fifth voice to the ensemble. While the combination of piano and vibes might suggest the danger of over-crowding the midrange, Thomas and pianist Laura Caviani respect each other's space.

Thomas reserves his instrument for reinforcing the melody and embarking ...


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