Ben Thomas

Triskaidekaphobia

origin 82448

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

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An intriguing third release from vibraphonist Ben Thomas, Triskaidekphobia is rather exploratory, bouncing from tone to tone, but performing all with an inventive vibe-clarinet format, more to the combos of Bobby Hutcherson and Eric Dolphy than those of Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton perhaps (more forward-oriented at any rate), but really not even within that vein. Here, the band takes on straightforward bop, post-bop, Brazilian idioms, and a surprisingly well-played tango (though the clarinet in a tango almost adds a klezmer vibe to the proceedings). The supporting bandmembers provide an exceptional canvas for the two main players to work with. Drummer John Bishop plays his usual course of perfect accompaniment, almost removing himself from notice at times but keeping the music held together admirably. Bassist Clipper Anderson takes a full tone, most notably in the aforementioned tango. Pianist Laura Caviani occasionally has to compete with Thomas' vibes a bit, but provides some very nice rhythm support. The stars of the show are admittedly Thomas and his vibes in combination with Eric Likkel's clarinets. The solos and the base melodies are both capably handled, with flairs of brilliance now and then in composition and performance. Another for the ever-growing listings of the Northwest aesthetic in jazz.






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