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Percussionist/drummer Tom Teasley delivers earthy interpretations of well-known jazz standards on Global Standard Time, a release that's loose, soulful, exotic, and somewhat remindful of Leon Parker's approach to jazz. Like Parker, Teasley is a gifted percussionist whose worldly vision breathes new life into familiar songs.
A musician and educator from the Washington, D.C., area whose last project was a stage collaboration with poet-actor Charles Williams, Teasley employs a variety of percussion instruments from around the world on this eclectic release, including udu (African clay drum), riq (Egyptian tamborine), gunta (clay hand drum) and foot maraca. He proves himself capable on conventional drums as well, creating a kind of hip-hop feel without electronics by playing half time on Monk's Straight No Chaser and Sonny Rollins' "No Moe." Teasley even delivers a couple of melodic turns on vibes on chamber-jazz versions of "Manha De Carnaval" and "My Foolish Heart."
The percussionist receives excellent support from various talented D.C.-area musicians. Particularly impressive is Rich Whitehead on guitar, who helps create the funky mood on "Straight No Chaser," plays gorgeous classical guitar on an exotic rendition of Ellington's "Caravan," and tackles Brazilian-style guitar on "Manha De Carnaval."
From mellow cuts like the lullaby "Alice in Wonderland" to polyrhythmic tunes such as McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance" (which features percussion, guitar, bass, trombone and flute), Tom Teasely forges a happy marriage of jazz and world music.
Track Listing: Straight No Chaser; Caravan Manha de Carnaval; Beautiful Love; Alice in Wonderland; Passion Dance; Equinox; My Foolish Heart; No Moe; Well You Needn't.
Personnel: Tom Teasley: drums, percussion, vibes, keyboards; Rick Whitehead: guitar; John Previti: bass; John Jensen: trombone; John Wubbenhorst: flute; Linda Teasley: vocals on "Manha de Carnaval"
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.