1

Tom Ranier: This Way

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Tom Ranier: This Way
Multi-instrumentalist Tom Rainer is a genre-defying artist who has a uniquely accessible style with a cinematic approach to orchestration. The enjoyable This Way is made up of several of his own compositions as well as a few covers, all of which Rainer and his quartet interpret with sophistication and elegance.

The funky title track, for instance, features Rainer leading from the piano with a clean and crisp cascade of notes. Overdubbed woodwinds add a soulful touch to the background while mellifluous collective vamps contain catchy hooks. Rainer suavely embellishes the main melody while the quartet buoys him with its expansive sound.

Rainer and guitarist Thom Rotella meld their sashaying, latinesque lines for the textured and shimmering tune, "Blue Aria." Subtle electronic enhancements to the performance imbue it with reserved and simmering passion and a dramatic sense. Rainer adds some spontaneity to the main theme with his resonant pianism.

The tender, "Secret Heart" features overlapping saxophones and clarinets which built a sonorous yet intimate introduction to Rainer's melancholic improvisation. There is an understated symphonic feel to the piece as synths alternate with reeds over drummer Ralph Humphrey's percolating and effervescent beats.

Another highlight of the album is "Circle" with its elliptical contemplative structure. The piano with its bittersweet tones glides over the band's rhythmic flourishes. Bassist Trey Henry takes a lyrical solo which perfectly fits with the overall introspective ambience.

The entirely acoustic "Trio Vision" showcases both Henry and Rainer's improvisation skills to their fullest. Each takes their turn in the spotlight, while Humphrey's brushes and sticks color the backdrop with muted hues.

Rainer's first release as a leader after a fourteen-year hiatus is delightful and engaging. It underscores his versatility and superb musicianship. Even though it doesn't break new ground, This Way makes for a relaxing listening experience.

Track Listing

Blue Aria; Circle; This Way; Yes Kloose; Secret Heart; Trio Vision; Rhapsody; Desafinado.

Personnel

Tom Ranier: piano; Trey Henry: bass; Ralph Humphrey: drums; Thom Rotella: guitar.

Tom Ranier: piano, synthesizer, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinets, bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet.

Album information

Title: This Way | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Peter Bernstein
Read A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimême/Carlos Santos
Read Suite!
Suite!
Roberto Magris
Read Jammin' With KC
Jammin' With KC
Sylwester Ostrowski
Read Rhythm City
Rhythm City
Ptah Williams, Larry Kornfeld, Rob Silverman
Read Stringers & Struts
Stringers & Struts
Rempis/Parker/Flaten/Cunningham
Read Live In Maui
Live In Maui
Jimi Hendrix Experience

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.