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Ted Rosenthal Trio: Wonderland

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Pianist Ted Rosenthal doesn’t pair “winter” with “wonderland,” preferring the latter, single word to resonate on its own. You don’t have to wait for Christmas or New Year’s (there’s little material here to suggest Chanukah) to enjoy this festive CD. And while it’s suffused with Rosenthal’s experience and personality, it’s very much a trio effort.

Rosenthal’s “derangements” of holiday classics like “Winter Wonderland,” “Greensleeves” and “Silent Night” speak to his expressiveness, authority and daring. “Greensleeves” becomes a fluid waltz, Rosenthal’s chording providing a brooding setting for Noriko Ueda’s resonant solo and Tim Horner’s deep-background drums. In Rosenthal’s sensitive hands, “Silent Night” presents an unusually rich soundscape as he works the tune to unexpected emotional depths; his minor chords lend a fresh eccentricity to the chestnut.

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