On his third recording as a leader, vibraphonist Ben Thomas is joined by Eric Likkel, clarinet, Laura Caviani, piano, Clipper Anderson, bass and John Bishop, drums. All compositions, except "The Hat of
the Bearded Lizzard," are by Thomas, yet there is sufficient variety of styles to hold the listener's interest. Thomas runs the gamut of styles from the Klezmer inspired "Daring to Find Meaning in Flight"
to the bright samba "Patrolling the Perimeter."
The playing by the entire group is exceptionally tight, and there is an obvious chemistry between Thomas and Likkel, most evident on the intensely precise vibe/clarinet work on "Locksteps." To add an element of Latin flair, Thomas plays timbales on a few tunes and is joined by Tom Bergersen on congas. One of the most memorable tunes is
the title track, "Triskaidekaphobia," composed in 13/4. The group handles this odd meter with such
ease that it sounds like a common meter. Although he lets the chops fly in key places, Thomas' solo work has a lyrical, singing quality that gels with Likkel's clarinet work.