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  1. #1

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    ...at almost 74.

    I've been a huge fan since I heard him with Bob Mover around '77, at Sweet Basil. That was the Horace Silver period, and I used to hear him around town with so many different groups---Ronnie Cuber, Mike Nock, later with Phil Woods, Hank Jones and of course his own groups. I couldn't say anything new about his playing.

    His writing is equally inspiring and fascinating to me. He's not afraid to peer into the darkest emotions and mental states, if that's how he feels---then turn around and be ebullient. And always in his own voice and with such a toolkit of knowledge.

    This latest one has themes that seem simple--but are they? Very thoughtful, introspective writing and playing this time. And the rhythm support really brings it all out:


  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Listening, I daresay the voicing he gets with the tenor and sometimes the guitar added is unique to him. Or he'll have the guitar play counterpoint to himself and the tenor. It's such an airy, sparse sound with guitar instead of piano, and this guy holds up his end. I dig his acoustic sound and concept, and that's another color.

    Yeah, Tom! Yeah, cats!

  4. #3
    Check the next-to-last tune, Duet (w/Mark Turner). Too much! And they say it all in under 2 minutes...

  5. #4

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    Yes, Tom is amazing!!
    Make sure you check out his release with Jim Hall, too!

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Yes, Tom is amazing!!
    Make sure you check out his release with Jim Hall, too!
    I saw them at the Vanguard. Jim had a different guest every night. Art Farmer was another...

  7. #6
    A lesser-known and older (1st recordings: '70s) Harrell gem, FWIW also in my own playbook: the jazz waltz Open Air. Besides this wonderful rendition from the highly recommended Ronnie Cuber: The 11th Day of Aquarius, it's the title tune on Tom's, you guessed it, Open Air (2 Harrell recordings by that name); Benny Aranov: Shadow Box, and was a feature for Tom in the '80s Phil Woods Quintet. Enjoy:


  8. #7
    No one else to give testimony on Tom? Very surprised...

  9. #8

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    Been a fan since I stumbled upon Moon Alley in a record store 20 years ago.

    Favorite Tom is hard to pick, but "these rooms" with Jim Hall and all the records he made with Philip Catherine are wonderful, as is the more recent stuff he released on HighNote, especially "Light On." Man, I love that record.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Been a fan since I stumbled upon Moon Alley in a record store 20 years ago.

    Favorite Tom is hard to pick, but "these rooms" with Jim Hall and all the records he made with Philip Catherine are wonderful, as is the more recent stuff he released on HighNote, especially "Light On." Man, I love that record.
    If you start with the '70s, there's a treasure trove: Don't miss the Silver 'N' series, especially Silver 'N' Wood; Silver 'N' Brass; and my favorite, Silver 'N' Strings Play the Music of the Spheres (one of the featured singers: the late and uber-talented Gregory Hines).

    And a partial list of other sideman '70s dates: Bob Berg: New Birth; Rein de Graff: NY Jazz; Ronnie Cuber: THe 11th Day of Aquarius; Bob Mover: On the Move; Harold Danko: Coincidence; Bill Evans: We Will Meet Again; Benny Aronov: Shadow Box; Charlie Schoemake: Away From the Crowd; Bobby Paunetto: Paunetto's Point; Mark Levine: Up Til Now (very good and interesting as hell)----for openers...

    80s-90s leader and sideman dates to follow...
    Last edited by joelf; 02-10-2020 at 12:14 AM.

  11. #10
    He's into something on the 1st tune. The theme is so sparse as to be threadbare. It's the voicing and mood. Then the material develops and you hear it's not at all sparse. Solos on a few chords, too--contrast...

  12. #11

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    Hi, J,
    The first time I heard Tom was at the Airport Lounge in Miami playing with the Billy Marcus trio in 1976. I had never heard of him from my time in Chicago but knew he was something special. Visually, he was very unassuming appearing, to me, introverted-- but his horn playing was something special and he set the roof on fire! I'm not a fan of most "original compositions" ,like the one provided, and prefer melody/chorus tunes, but he's the real deal. Good playing . . . Marinero

  13. #12
    What inspires and gives me hope about and through Tom is not only his long-fought successful battle against serious illnesses that would waste many others. It's that he, as composer, works with the best, most diverse materials already out there to write in a personal voice. He doesn't claim to be an 'innovator'. That's for history to decide anyway. But as a composer myself he sets a high bar, b/c of his amazing scope and fearlessness in trying everything, including expressing a wide range of darker emotions and colors. He's the man for all seasons---and I want to do it, too---with my voice...

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    No one else to give testimony on Tom? Very surprised...
    I've seen him a couple of times with Joe Lovano. Beautiful tone, and always fascinating solos. He did some great stuff with Jim Hall, such as this:

    .

    He lives down the street from me, and I see him in the neighborhood occasionally (but have not spoken to him).

    John

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    What inspires and gives me hope about and through Tom is not only his long-fought successful battle against serious illnesses that would waste many others. It's that he, as composer, works with the best, most diverse materials already out there to write in a personal voice. He doesn't claim to be an 'innovator'. That's for history to decide anyway. But as a composer myself he sets a high bar, b/c of his amazing scope and fearlessness in trying everything, including expressing a wide range of darker emotions and colors. He's the man for all seasons---and I want to do it, too---with my voice...
    The first time I saw him perform, I didn't know about his illness, and only knew him from hearing recordings. I'm glad for that because I got to appreciate his music without the thought "he's great -- for a person with schizophrenia" being part of it. It was just "he's great". It was only after seeing the change in affect he undergoes between playing and laying out that I had any inkling. From what I understand, when he's playing the symptoms subside, so music can be thought of as part of the way he copes with the illness, more than it being a matter of him being able to play despite his illness. It's a fascinating and moving story.

    John

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    I've seen him a couple of times with Joe Lovano. Beautiful tone, and always fascinating solos. He did some great stuff with Jim Hall, such as this:

    .

    He lives down the street from me, and I see him in the neighborhood occasionally (but have not spoken to him).

    John

    Beautiful piece, John! I've always loved lyricism in all music and Tom and Jim have captured the mood quite well with this piece. Tom is definitely out of the Chet Baker school with his great tone, phrasing and ideas. Very nice! Good playing . . . Marinero

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    The first time I saw him perform, I didn't know about his illness, and only knew him from hearing recordings. I'm glad for that because I got to appreciate his music without the thought "he's great -- for a person with schizophrenia" being part of it. It was just "he's great". It was only after seeing the change in affect he undergoes between playing and laying out that I had any inkling. From what I understand, when he's playing the symptoms subside, so music can be thought of as part of the way he copes with the illness, more than it being a matter of him being able to play despite his illness. It's a fascinating and moving story.

    John
    Tom always tells interviewers how lucky he is. The symptoms of schizophrenia are no picnic, and you or I couldn't even imagine what the man goes through on a bad day.

    But he's on the right meds, after being on one that almost killed him and a long search after that; has a great wife-manager who keeps people off him and deals with the things it's hard for him to---the music biz necessities---so he can just play, write, show up for the sound check and play. He has a soundproof practice room in his apartment. He is beloved by musicians and fans alike---and has to know that, even with 'voices' trying to tear him apart. It's not always easy being him, but he's a man with a great outlook and philosophy. He counts his blessings every day, and every day he can he creates.

    I'm so glad he was born...