About this Recording
86050-2 - CHRISTENSEN, Tom: Gualala

About the music...
The Tom Christensen ensemble is subtle and unassuming. Its music seeps in slowly and softly, like osmosis, like incense filling a room, like the warm of a fireplace. Working without a tradition drum kit, but two woodwinds, bass and various hand percussion instruments, reedman Tom Christensen leads this innovative and unusual quartet. Combining elements of world music, European classical and jazz, the group explores modern, improvised music that captivates and transcends. Originally conceived for a composer's forum at the Greenwich Village club, Small's, the ensemble creates sounds with wide lyrical range and impressive contextual nuance. Giving special play to unheralded instruments like the oboe, the Tom Christensen Ensemble wins you over with calm, deliberate and enticing arguments. In the album's eloquent liner notes, saxophone great Dave Liebman writes that Christensen, "has cleverly written tunes highlighting the beautiful tone and nuances of the oboe." In addition, he adds that, "Tom's writing is extremely lyrical and well thought out." It's not exactly faint praise from one of the most respected saxophonist working today to another.

About Tom Christensen...
A native Californian educated at the Eastman School of Music, Christensen now is an established saxophone, woodwind specialist and composer in New York City. He is a member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and has performed with them across the world. He has recorded Grammy nominated records with Joe Lovano, Paquita D'Rivera, David Sanchez and Don Sebesky. Other credits include the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Dave Liebman and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

About the musicians...
Charles Pillow grew up in Louisiana and attended the Eastman School of Music, like Christensen. He has recorded and performed with Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, John Scofield and Joe Henderson. Pillow's own CD, Currents, has garnered acclaim from publications like JazzTimes. Ben Alison is the founder and Artistic Director of the New York-based Jazz Composer's Collective. He is an active performer and composer whose latest album is called Third Eye. He was picked by Downbeat magazine last year as one of the "25 musicians for the future." Satoshi Takeishi plays various frame and Japanese drums, cymbals and percussion instruments that comprise a unique drum set he designed himself. Satoshi has studied and performed multi-cultural improvised music across the world. He also plays with Eliane Elias.

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