Album Review

Thollem/Rivera – “I’ll Meet You Half Way Out.. ” – [Thollem]

Thurston Hunger   11/11/2005   A Library, CD

Thollem McDonas has already logged a solid solo outing at
KFJC, on this release he’s paired with drummer Rick Rivera.
Thollem’s hands on the piano are active, but also he’s got
rants in pants. The songbook meets the angry poet’s notebook;
the best thing about this pairing is how spontaneous their
union feels. Haunted by jaunty melodies, Thollem’s ponderings
avoid being overly ponderous. His philosopher’s stone goes
skipping over waves of piano and the 0-60 rapid eruptions
that Rivera quick-shifts on his kit. Rivera corners so well
and his rimshots hit every rimtarget, that I’ve got to believe
this was a lot more reheared than it appears. Thollem’s voice
never really sings, but exhorts in a pleasant way through
a variety of suns shining through a variety of worlds in
the super-singularity of a life. Death is present, but often
the straight man for McDonas musing. So while he asserts that
“I’ve Confused myself For You” and “i Am Lost in my thoughts”
I think he actually knows the lay of the land there pretty
well. I enjoyed my visit, even more as I stayed longer (and
my appreciation for Rivera definitely grew with listens as

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