“Intense and virtuosic”
- Time Out, NY
“It seems beyond the capacity of one human being to
contain so much densely-packed creative energy...”
- Tom Djll, Signal To Noise
“Thollem is known for his rapturous solo piano work which
transgresses genre boundaries as much as it transcends them"
- Dave Wayne, All About Jazz
"A particularly powerful voice"
- David Keenan, The Wire
Live concert recording at Audio For The Arts - Madison, WI
"In the 42+ minutes of this set, Thollem shows the numerous
subfigures of his time-honored improvisational manner, which
comprises baffling forms of extemporaneous classicism defined
by latitudinarian harmonies. Constructions grounded on diagonal
patterns, mercurial arpeggios, inside-the-box curiosity, muscular
bashing when necessary, even hints to a somewhat romanticist
serenity when the waters calm down. No signals of impatience
whatsoever, despite the occasional appearance of a crystal clear
franticness; everything is conceived and realized simultaneously,
at once expressing total concentration and indomitable heterodoxy.
Year upon year of experiences with variegated species of fellow
improvisers have not obstructed the path to a fluent soloism that
never ceases to find us eager to translate its inherent motivations
and designs. McDonas positively stands against stylistic apartheid,
unwilling to conform to the kind of obsessional purism frequently
altering a genuine radical’s impartiality. The man’s receptiveness
to all kinds of suggestions transforms innumerable impulses into
distinctive shapes and traces, occasionally disclosing
unexpectedly sharp canines."
- Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
Concert at Teatro Micaelense Jazzores Festival Ponta Delgada, The Azores, Portugal.