This review can be summed up in one sentence: What's there not to like about Thief of Time?
Given the melodic crispness and vitality of his widely acclaimed instrumental recordings, notably 2004's Acoustic Jazz Guitar; 2001's The Last Romantic; and 2000's Letters From Joubee one could easily overlook his masterful songwriting abilities. But, with his Lyle Lovett like, comfortable-as-an-old-shirt vocals and picking style that breezes from Greenwich Village through Birdland to the Catskills, one's memory quickly returns.
Opening with the effervescent bubble 'Bonnie Jean' (Hey Steely Dan, give Traum a call) the groove never stops. Try not moving to the bossa nova title track or the Brazilian bop of Back In The Sugarcane. With special props to bassist Tony Levin, Traum's take on the traditional Cuckoo Bird gets an especially percolating treatment. Last Tree In The Bronx, Halifax, and That Secret Place (the first and former co-written with Wendy Waldman) only magnify Traum's long rep as a musical storyteller of the highest caliber.
Produced with an irrepressible vibe by Waldman, the Bearsville All-Stars -- drummer Gary Burke, pianist Warren Bernhardt, Levin, Traum, Waldman, and special guests John Sebastian, Kenny Edwards, Amy Helm, Donna Lewis, Teresa Williams, Joe Flood, and Jim Photoglo, lead us on a tour of Americana at a brisk and invigorating pace.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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