Rich Thompson

Less Is More

Origin 82636

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...the power that drove the Basie Sound.
-The Boston Globe

For his second Origin release, drummer Rich Thompson gathers together a group of exceptional modern jazz talent for an energized set of standards and originals. With trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist/organist Gary Versace, saxophonist Doug Stone, and bassist Jeff Campbell, the quintet reimagines jazz standards such as Kenny Dorham's "Lotus Blossom," Ornette Coleman's "Invisible," and Wayne Shorter's "This is for Albert," Great American Songbook classics such as "I've Never Been in Love Before," and originals from Thompson and Campbell.


Track Listing:

1 Lotus Blossom 4:41
2 Hoot Gibson 7:21
3 I Didn't Know What Time it Was 4:43
4 Camping Out 6:04
5 Less is More 7:03
6 Invisible 6:06
7 It's So Easy to Remember 3:31
8 This is for Albert 5:42
9 I've Never Been in Love Before 8:22
10 Step Lightly 5:16

Performers:

TERELL STAFFORD - trumpet / flugelhorn
DOUG STONE - tenor saxophone
GARY VERSACE - piano / Hammond B3 organ
JEFF CAMPBELL - bass
RICH THOMPSON - drums

Production Info:

Produced by Rich Thompson
Executive Producer: Tom Hampson
Recorded by Jeff Gilhart, Assisted by Tim Hull
at Linden Oaks Studios, Rochester, NY
April 26, 27 & 28th, 2012
Mixed & mastered by Jeff Gilhart
at The Tree Fort, Rochester, NY
Photography by Slobo Mitic & Joy Prescott
Band Photography by Paul Grigsby
Cover design & layout by John Bishop


Reviews of Less Is More

emusic Review (Dave Sumner)
Nice straight-ahead session with an appealing accent on the blues. Featuring Terell Stafford on trumpet and Gary Versace on piano, drummer Thompson bundles up a quintet into a warm ball of music. This is the kind of jazz you want drifting out into the street just before you step into the club? strong musicianship, tight compositions, and the room f ...

All About Jazz (C. Michael Bailey)
Rich Thompson is, or course, a drummer and educator best known as a recent drummer with the Count Basie orchestra. He assembles quite the spanking band on Less is More, filling his trumpet chair with Terell Stafford, who helps turn this collection of originals and carefully chosen standards into something special. An acoustic jazz outing, Thompson ...

The Jazz Word (John Barron)
Drummer Rich Thompson is the driving force behind this propulsive quartet recording that features a choice selection of tunes and exceptional soloists. Trumpeter Terell Stafford adds an element of fire to Kenny Dorham's "Lotus Blossom" and eloquence to the ballad "It's Easy to Remember." Doug Stone's tenor saxophone replaces Stafford on a co ...

Jazz Society of Oregon (Tim Willcox)
The Eastman School of Music's Thompson puts together a satisfying straight-ahead affair with "Less is More." Borrowing two members of Matt Wilson's "Arts and Crafts" ensemble (pianist and organist Gary Versace, an alumni of Eastman, as well as trumpeter Terell Stafford), the material does have some similarities with Wilson's modus operandi. A wonde ...

Audiophile Audition (Jeff Krow)
A cast of heavyweight talent? ****1/2 Stars Origin Records has pulled in first string talent for drummer Rich Thompson's second release for the label. Thompson, who has been a jazz educator for the Eastman School of Music, as well as having a tenure with a Count Basie tribute band, has a quintet with all-star pedigree, including the virtuosic ...

Oregon Jazz Scene (George Fendel)
For his second session on Seattle?s respected Origin label, Thompson has put together a solid quintet and chosen some intriguing jazz compositions, often overlooked by others. The opener is Kenny Dorham?s ?Lotus Blossom,? a hard bop vehicle. Or how about Ornette Coleman?s ?Invisible,? a tricky melody line that nobody has given any attention to for ...

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (Jack Garner)
Rochester?s great jazz tradition has given birth to an inordinate number of superb drummers, including Steve Gadd, Joe La Barbera, John Beck, and Mike Melito. Right in that mix is Rich Thompson. This latest album ? his best yet ? is a polished, straight-ahead offering (but with none of its soulful grit polished off.) A wonderful quintet ? rising tr ...

Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (Mark S Tucker)
Luckily, I'd received Jack Mouse's "Range of Motion" at the same time I got Rich Thompson's "Less is More" and stacked them together in my slush pile. Reviewing the two, one right after the other, afforded a sharp contrast in drumming styles even though the two have played in much the same genre of ensembles as they now solo in smaller forma ...

Cadence (Michael Nastos)
The modern mainstream, straight ahead jazz quintet is not a format completely exhausted in originality as proven by drummer Rich Thompson, his cast of famed all-stars, and local heroes. Keyboardist Gary Versace and trumpeter Terell Stafford are clearly the front-runners of this date, with Thompson and Jeff Campbell in solid support, and Doug Stone? ...

Blogcritics.org (Jack Goldstein)
Less is More, Rich Thompson?s sequel to last year?s trio album Generations, has the drummer following the same general formula in the choice of material, but now working with a larger ensemble. Straightforward modern harmonies, driven by dynamic percussion, applied to a mixed repertoire of jazz classics interspersed with a few original pieces is th ...

amazon.com (Grady Harp)
It is not often that the lead man in a group is a drummer but that is most assuredly the case with drummer Rich Thompson who is the driving force behind this propulsive quartet recording that features a choice selection of tunes and exceptional soloists. This is one of those albums that has it all - the transitional sound for the ...

Modern Drummer (Jeff Potter)
Right out of the gate, this CD is poppin' on Kenny Dorham's "Lotus Blossom." Drummer Thompson's articulation is strikingly clean and precise. Even when he's stretching out on Ornette Coleman's "Invisible," his playing is a study in purposeful orchestration. But his pinpoint precision foremost serves a seamless, propulsive current; this ban ...

Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
The pocket for Rich Thompson?s team of Terell Stafford/tp-fh, Doug Stone/ts, Gary Versace/p-B3 and Jeff Campbell/b is fit for a pair of Oshkosh overalls. A hip hard bop ?Lotus Blossom? and jaunty ?I?ve Never Been In Love Before? set a black diamond of a ski slope for Stafford?s cheery trumpet. Campbell?s bluesy bass oozes through a vibrant B3 on ?H ...

JazzTimes (Scott Albin)
In his infinite wisdom, drummer Rich Thompson brought in Terell Stafford for this recording session. Stafford has slowly but surely become one of the preeminent jazz trumpeters, stealing the show as a sideman on a number of CDs, not to mention his own most recent release, This Side of Strayhorn. Thompson also showed great care in formulating the so ...

All About Jazz (Hrayr Attarian)
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 dexterit ...

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