Cadence Magazine

April, 1998

...feels like a blatant attempt to defy categorization, as Thompson and company incorporate a full spectrum of influences in order to concoct a persuasive extended work. Thompson displays his own sense of dark humor on "A Little Light Music," a solo piano piece that runs the gamut from the cold, detached clamor of Galina Ustvolskaya to Misha Mengelberg's ability to alternate deliberate "wrong" notes with a surprising lyrical run or two. Thompson's lines are often slightly off center and full of broken bop phrases that are just unconventional enough to keep the listener both attentive and unsuspecting. The other solo piano piece, "Signs and Seasons," offers further proof of Thompsons's madcap compositional stratagem, where fidgety uneasiness is balanced closedly with a poignant romantic side for a pleasantly agitated fit. The ensemble pieces range from the reflective, calmly orchestrated "The Spirit of God on the Face of the Waters," with Fraedrich's masterful muted trumpet, to the subtle piano/trumpet interplay on the modal quartet piece, "Heaven," to the giddy Herb Alpertish "Reptilia," and the paradoxically chaotic and cerebral sweeping movements of "On the Wing." Thompson is both a gifted composer and a witty pianist who is worth keeping an eye on. Jon Morgan