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Threeplay by Ted Rosenthal

Sometimes you gotta learn when NOT to trust your "first impressions." Take this fellow, f'r instance: I had this Rosenthal guy pegged as a just-another-mainstream-pianist -- talented, solid, swinging, tasteful, very "normal," good but not great, surely nothing I've not heard before a 1,000 times. Then I heard this platter and was forced to, uh, surely revise my supposition. Stylistically, T.R. plays real-swell piano in a meat-and-potatoes manner not unlike Hank Jones and (especially) Tommy Flanagan, but realizes that flesh 'n' starch can get a little bland without some spice, so he sprinkles judiciously some Thelonious Monk-like angularity and wit and adds a healthy pinch of Cecil Taylor-like percussiveness and unpredictability. Plus, he & his compatriots whip up an inspired, muscular, driving swing on this mix of standard and originals, with the Extra Added Attraction of the versatile, exciting drummer Matt Wilson (who can shine in both straightahead and free/avant contexts). This Rosenthal cat could likely give the rep of "mainstream" jazz piano a (booster) shot in the arm. Threeplay is fine stuff for piano people, indeed.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ted Rosenthal
  • CD Title: Threeplay
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Playscape Recordings
  • Rating: Three Stars
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