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Ted Rosenthal

Ted Rosenthal denies any numerological significance in the fact that his two latest CDs for Playscape, one in a trio and one solo, are called Threeplay and Ted Rosenthal Plays the Three B’s: Bud Powell, Bill Evans, Beethoven, respectively. In fact, the pianist explains, the latter album was recorded in 1999, but the vagaries of the music industry mean that it will be released after the trio record. And one must note that if the numbering were evidence of some Illuminati-esque plot to take over the world with lyrical, intelligent, characterful jazz, one more album would be needed to complete the trifecta. Still, these two out of three ain’t bad.

Unusually among jazz albums, the wit of Threeplay actually extends beyond its title. “I’m as serious as the next guy when it comes to the music,” says Rosenthal, “but sometimes I think jazz players think they may have to avoid dealing with certain emotions, and I think, ‘Why not look for the whole gamut of things?'”

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