Mon July 8, 2024

Micah Thomas Trio (USA)

Micah Thomas: piano
Dean Torrey: bass
Kayvon Gordon: drums

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Micah Thomas was born in 1997 in Columbus, Ohio. He started playing songs on the piano by ear at the age of 2, and shortly afterwards he started private piano training. From his sophomore year of high school onwards, Micah began gigging regularly with violinist Christian Howes and became a regular faculty member at his annual Creative Strings Workshop from 2015-2018. He also has appeared several times with Byron Stripling and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra as a guest artist, performing with John Clayton and Joshua Redman for their 45th anniversary concert series in 2017. He has also performed throughout Ohio with other musicians including JD Allen, Billy Contreras, Eddie Bayard, George Delancey, Cedric Easton, and Bobby Floyd.
In 2015, Micah Thomas received the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship from the Juilliard School, and received his Master of Music (M.M.) degree in 2020. He is now touring and performing locally and internationally, both as a leader of his own trio, a steady member of the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet, and as a sideman for Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Lage Lund, Billy Drummond, Zoh Amba, Giveton Gelin, Stacy Dillard, Joel Ross, Nicole Glover, Melissa Aldana, Etienne Charles, Harish Raghavan and others.

In June 2020, Micah Thomas released his first album, Tide, which received positive reviews from the New York Journal, The New York Times, JazzTimes, and Financial Times, among others. He has appeared on several albums as a sideman for Immanuel Wilkins, Billy Drummond, Zoh Amba, Giveton Gelin, and Walter Smith III. In September 2022, Micah Thomas released the album Piano Solo through LP345. The album later received Grand Prix du Disque Award by Académie Charles Cros from France.
Micah Thomas’ most recent album Reveal features Dean Torrey on bass and Kayvon Gordon on drums. It was released on September 8, 2023 through Artwork Records. Micah is the recipient of Jerome Commission from Roulette NYC and a Shifting Foundation Fellow. In June 2023, he showcased his project Mountains commissioned by The Jazz Gallery in NYC. Micah was also the curator for the 2022 SWR NewJazz Meeting in Germany.

Micah Thomas’ trio, working together since 2019, are creating a musical language where each member can provide balance and imbalance and work within a constantly shifting group texture. Drawing on the rich tradition of piano-bass-drums ensembles since the 20th century, the trio manipulates shapes, harmony, and rhythm in a rich tapestry on the platform of Micah’s compositions.

The young pianist Micah Thomas was revealed to an international audience in 2020 with the release of his trio album Tide, his first recording as a leader, and with Omega by saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins quartet, which Thomas has been a part of since 2017. It seemed that Thomas had no time to lose.

His release of his new opus, Reveal, confirms not only his exceptional instrumental talents but he also draws on the history of modern jazz to nourish his innovative and powerfully organic conceptions of the age-old “piano-bass-drums” formula. Thomas is already standing out in a new generation of American jazz musicians determined to conjugate the tradition in a subjective present.

It is precisely that open-minded attitude, and Thomas' ability to appreciate the entire heritage of modern jazz and create its synthesis in a language so continuously personal and inventive, that we can find in a condensed form today inside Reveal, the young pianist’s third album as a leader. Together with bassist Dean Torrey and drummer Kayvon Gordon, Thomas has picked up where his first record Tide left off, and he has done so with a blend of authority, naturalness and daring that is impressive for his age. Reveal is a sort of aesthetic manifesto that definitively lays down the bases for an “art of the trio” that is eminently singular and innovative.

Putting into practice an orchestral and decidedly collective conception of the trio formula founded on a generalized interactivity, the three musicians have here developed music that is at once astonishingly compact in its textures and in its polyrhythms – they fit precisely together in fluid gestures, as if this intense concentration of energies was generating inner spaces into which the clear, magnificently articulated, intelligently discontinuous song of the piano can dive with a sparkling virtuosity.

In this foundational record whose mastery of form is total, Thomas has allowed himself all kinds of daring without ever foundering into any kind of mannerism. He concludes his album – a form of apotheosis – with the hallucinatory, repetitive motifs of “Denardirn," a subtly experimental piece that truly opens up new horizons for us.

Best International Artist of the Year 2023 – JazzNews x JazzMagazine
Best Jazz Albums of the Year 2023 – New York Times

“A drop mic, double plus good treatise by three very ballsy players—pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Dean Torrey, and drummer Kayvon Gordon—Reveal wastes no time stating its case, taking centerstage, and holding that promised land's glories tight.” - All About Jazz

"I am already tagging him as one who has a unique style as well as all the tools needed to make a major contribution to the world of jazz piano." - Fred Hersch