Thollem McDonas | Rick Rivera | Everything’s Going Everywhere | Edgetone Records

Thollem McDonas – piano | Rick Rivera -drums

Produced by Thollem McDonas.  Executive Producer Artist Mind Expansion Fund Recorded 1/29/2005 and Mixed by David Posner at Deep Wave Studio San Francisco, California Cover painting by Miles Stryker *Recorded live at The Kuumbwa Jazz Center “Recorded 6/13/2004

Tracklist: 1.Twelve tongues [3:12] 2. Phasing out, sliding down [2:37]  3. Inbetween inbetween [2:48] 4. Tritones and howls [3:52] 5. Clown funeral [3:33] 6. Insanity’s done with mirrors [3:43] 7. daDadaDadaDa [2:29] 8. Everybody come and go here [3:44] 9. Waristerrorterroriswar(nowords) [4:04] 10. Beginner’s mind [3:17] 11. Simplicity spontaneously #11 & #29 [3:39] 12. Bi-polar bells [3:31] 13. Waves, webs, indigena [3:07] 14. Silence [2:00] 15. Kuumbwa free [1:49]* 16. Traine, everywhere’s anywhere [4:01] * 17. Prisons are Neither prevention nor the cure [5:27]

Everything’s Going Everywhere

featuring pianist Thollem Mcdonas and drummer Rick Rivera bring to the jazz world a sonic journey bursting with excitement well needed in jazz and improvisation in the 21st century. Drawing from such diverse forms of inspiration as nuclear bombs, modern classical and Arabic music, to free jazz, punk, and traffic sounds, these two musical Iconoclasts transcend the past, and the limits of their influences, re-organizing traditional ideas into a sonic commentary about the space between rebellion, politics, and hummingbirds.

Rick Rivera

a native of Boston, MA, began playing drums at the age of thirteen. Later, he joined his high school’s jazz band, which provided him with various performance opportunities throughout the U.S. After graduation, Rick went on to study music formally with Bob Gullotti. During his 5-year apprenticeship with Bob, Rick performed at the Willow Jazz Club, Wally’s and Berklee College of Music and was a first-call session drummer for some of Boston’s finest musician’s, including Jane Wang, John Aruda, Jeff Rorback and Russell Fortunato. After completing his studies with Bob, Rick went on to pursue jazz across two continents, teaching and performing in Boston, Hawaii, and Japan. While in Japan, Rick appeared at such notable venues as Body and Soul, Live Inn Pier and Shinjuku Pit Inn. He co-led the Monk Tribute Band, alongside Natori Toshihiko, and powered the Mineko Ogata Trio and Hisashi Nakajima Quartet with his traditional and experimental jazz drumming style. Now a resident of San Francisco, Rick continues his pursuit of jazz and experimental music with top musicians in the Bay Area. Rick’s influences include but are not limited to Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Washington, Bob Gullotti, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Jason Marsalis & Ed Thigpen.

Thollem McDonas

Thollem travels perpetually as a pianist, vocalist, collaborator and facilitator. His musical experiences are extremely diverse and his ever expanding variety of approaches to making music result in dramatically new and different outcomes. He plays in punk clubs, museums, concert halls and riots. He works regularly with film makers, dancers, poets and painters as well as a wide array of divergent musicians and communities. He is the founding director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross-border ensemble for musical exchange, as well as lead singer of Tsigoti, a socio-politically charged avant-punk band among many other groups and collaborations .

Not long after birth, Thollem began studying the keyboard repertoire from the medieval to the 20th century. After graduating with degrees in both piano performance and composition, he dedicated his time for years in grassroots political and ecological movements before returning to his own music with his full focus in 2005. Since then, he has added 24 albums to his discography on 10 different vanguard record labels in 4 different countries. He is currently touring perpetually as a soloist, in collaboration with many other individuals and groups, as well as leading large ensemble free improvisation/collaboration workshops.

Thollem performs in theaters, art galleries, universities, elementary schools, concert halls, jazz clubs, rock clubs, festivals, warehouses, house concerts, streets, prisons, forests, riots and on television, radio and the internet. He has performed piano concertos with symphonies, played in West African drumming troupes, Javanese gamelan ensembles, punk bands, free improv ensembles, and regularly collaborates as a comproviser for film and modern dance. He participates in communities as he travels, collaborating with individuals and organizations, helping to connect artistic communities and artists.


The duo has a great feel on the album. One of the absolute standout cuts, however, is ‘Tritones and Howls’, a chaotic free work that features fierce playing by both Rivera and McDonas. The track is one in which communication could have easily broken down. But the way McDonas and Rivera interact keeps everything on the verge of breakdown without ever falling off the tracks. – Ryan McDermott, One Final Note

The music may be thoroughly spontaneous, but it is hardly without sensitive listening and interaction between this San Francisco-based pianist McDonas and drummer Rick Rivera…There are a lot of ideas, and a lot of constantly changing sounds to keep our attention, and make us think , or question! – Winthrop Bedford, Jazz Improv Magazine

…the playing is full of (both) energy & calm. That’s one of the most distinctive aspects of Mcdonas’ keyboard work. – Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazz Nation

Unique is not adequate to describe the rich, priceless tones and clusters Thollem commands from all 88 with perceptive, percussive accents from Rivera. CLASSICAL JAZZ GENIUS – Outlier KFJC 89.7 FM Los Altos Hills, CA

The Thollem / Rivera issue is a refreshing departure from the jazz status quo, featuring powerful juxtapositions between the many musical forms spanning aggressive avant jazz to pointillistic modern composition. A wonderfully balanced program full of tension and release. It’s a musical journey combining the bombastic and the introspective. Thanks for the ride. – Jason Finkelman, WEFT 90.1 FM Champaign, IL

Lots of fun, which is sometimes hard to say with so many notes flying by. These guys know how to make exciting music, no matter what you want to call it. – J. Worley Aiding & Abetting

Thollem McDonas and Rick Rivera confirm and reinforce the great impression they made with their debut CD, thanks to this series of canon subversions which sound absolutely natural in their wayside view. – MASSIMO RICCI, Touchingextremes

McDonas is in touch with life and the world we live in. It’s the music we need. Music with great purity.a very rich CD these two musicians deliver, not to be missed by those interested in new music and new jazz and everybody else. – Vital Weekly

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

$ 16.00
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