Micah Thomas, Tide

A fairly new name to me, although he flickered on the marlbank radar last year on Harish Raghavan's record Calls For Action pianist Micah Thomas begins on 'Tornado' like a benevolent ghost from a Bud Powell or Lennie Tristano universe, a tumbling …

Published: 20 Jun 2020. Updated: 51 days.

A fairly new name to me, although he flickered on the marlbank radar last year on Harish Raghavan's record Calls For Action pianist Micah Thomas begins on 'Tornado' like a benevolent ghost from a Bud Powell or Lennie Tristano universe, a tumbling opaque sense emerging from the piano, the hustle of drums and bass swirling around to envelop the sound and grab hold of your ears.

Tide is a live album recorded in a New York hotel last year but feels like a studio meditation and finds the pianist who studied at Julliard here with two other unknowns bassist Dean Torrey and drummer Kyle Benford. Thomas plays around with Mahler on 'The Game' and otherwise knows his way around what makes a contemporary piano trio tick, there's a certain ominous darkness to his approach and a willingness to divert away from what you might expect. 'Across My Path' has an appealing tenderness to it and opens up the trio to let it breath a bit more. And as for 'Grounds' it has a joyous skip to it that again could belong in a Bud Powell universe while Torrey is very impressive on the poignant 'The Day After'. This album quietly slipped out feels like a real find and one I'll be returning to regularly and very often. Out now.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albumsAlbum reviews

Midnight Prayer: The Best of Polly Gibbons on Resonance

It's hard to find a truly great jazz singer and Polly Gibbons certainly is that rare thing. For newcomers this is a great chance to mop up some choice tracks from the singer's tenure on US label Resoance. What Gibbons is so good at doing is …

Published: 19 Jun 2020. Updated: 52 days.

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It's hard to find a truly great jazz singer and Polly Gibbons certainly is that rare thing. For newcomers this is a great chance to mop up some choice tracks from the singer's tenure on US label Resoance. What Gibbons is so good at doing is injecting a soulful element to her interpretations and she also has a great deal of strength and commitment built in to her interpretations. Includes 'Pure Imagination,' 'Wild Is the Wind' and 'Dr. Feelgood'.