Meeting At The Parting Place
dedicated to Terry and Ann Riley
"Listening to Thollem McDonas play the piano is an astonishing experience. He has an innate ability to compose transcendent music using the piano as his expressive voice and to explore the depth and range of the instrument like no one else. Meeting At The Parting Place will take you on journeys across varied landscapes that flow effortlessly from one to the next — somehow emerging logically even in their unpredictability. Thollem creates a spectacular tapestry of different colored sounds reflecting his awareness, study and assimilation of countless influences. In Terry Riley’s own words, Thollem McDonas is ‘a true original'."
- by Joan Jeanrenaud, Composer, Cellist
(Kronos Quartet cellist 1978-98)
"One of the most captivating pianists working today"
- Rui Eduardo Paes, Jazz.pt (Portugal)
"Transgressing genre boundaries as much as he transcends them.”
- Dave Wayne, All About Jazz, NY
Musically, as well as socially, culinarily, philosophically, I'm interested in the multitude of ways cultures meet, conflict, interweave and eventually spin into new unique incarnations. 'Meeting At The Parting Place' was composed in witness to the increasing concerns of immigration and border control in the U.S. I've been traveling for most of my adult life and feel that real 'progress' has to include the ability for people to move freely around this planet rather than expanding surveillance, fences and laws prohibiting this flow. We need to learn to share this planet and its resources and not just tolerate our differences but truly celebrate them. Variety is not only the spice of life; it's the entire foundation of life itself.
- Ernie Paik, Chattanooga Pulse
“Atonal Jazz, Middle Eastern influences, relentless
minimalism, loaded blues and powerful expressionism...”
- All About Jazz (Italy)
"Transforms 88 keys into a texturally staggering ensemble.
His talent is most awing when it’s just him and a piano."
- Detroit Metro Times