Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tuba, or not, tuba.

A week or so ago an artist named Tom Heasley posted a message on the Jazz programmer's e-mail list. A bold move, asking the many music directors and programmers who subscribe to the list to listen to brief clips on his site, and let him know if interested in receiving copies for airplay. Saying it was a bold move, meaning that most of those MD's and programmers are restricted to fairly narrow, in comparison, "mainstream" boundaries relative to what they can or will play on their air. I listened to those clips, and was immediatedly taken by the uniquely genuine, transfixing beauty of what I heard. He and I have since traded a few messages, and I just yesterday received the packages he sent with his 4 CD's. Indeed, genuinely unique / uniquely genuine. His art is extraordinary. A list starting with the most recent: "Tom Heasley & Toss Panos: Passages" (a duet with drummer Toss Panos), "Desert Triptych", "On The Sensations of Tone", "Where the Earth Meets the Sky". Perhaps on the most recent duet recording you may hear the drummer every now and again playing somewhat familiar rhythms, a little funk here and a little swing there, but most of the time he makes his drums sing brilliantly right along with Tom's playing. I'm reluctant to say Tom created something "new" here, the existentialists will jump on it and say there is nothing really new. However, I'll take the jump. Tom has created something new. It's beyond categorization. It is truly creative music. Anxious to arrange an interview with Tom, he and I have already began a thread accordingly. I look forward to speaking with him, to see what he might call it, although from the gist of our thread thus far I get the feeling he is somewhat reluctant himself to attach a label to it.

When I first put on one of the cd's it in turn placed this watercolor wash over my environment and became a soundtrack to the moment. It was just that captivating. I realize that for someone who's already said it is beyond categorization, I am certainly trying to find just the right descriptive words, one of those labels that I am trying to avoid. Here's the best suggestion. Go to Tom Heasley's website and order his cd's (oh go ahead, treat yourself, get the lot), put them in your player, relax and let yourself go where it takes you. It doesn't necessarily take big ears, just open ears. Like any art, the experience is unique to the viewer, unique to the listener. I liked very much where it took me.

He's a bit busy in rehearsals with pianist/composer/arranger Milcho Leviev for an upcoming performance with the Don Ellis Reunion Band. Once he and I find a day/time convenient to us both and I get that interview set up, I'll make sure you're the first to hear about it, and I will certainly be sharing it with you.

1 comment:

Ron P. / Gallery 41 said...

Added 10/16/07: Toss Panos by the way is also VERY FUNKY on the new Larry Carlton/Robben Ford CD "Live In Tokyo", you should check that one out too.