Ben Thomas

Triskaidekphobia

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    8
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The title of Ben Thomas' CD, Triskaidekphobia, may make the set seem forbidding but actually the music is quite accessible. "Triskaidekphobia" means fear of the number 13, and has to do with the title piece being in 13/4 time. The music actually alternates between Latin jazz and hard bop and, although the vibes/clarinet front line may make one think of Benny Goodman, the music is more modern, if always swinging in its own way. While vibraphonist Thomas and his rhythm section are excellent, clarinetist Eric Likkel (who doubles on bass clarinet on two numbers) is a major new find. Triskaidekphobia has its share of subtle surprises and the modern jazz set is well-worth hearing.

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