Since his arrival in New York in 1989, Tom Christensen’s saxophone voice has set him apart. All Music Guide says, “Christensen possesses the goods to be a major force within the global modern jazz arena.” Jazz composers from Toshiko Akiyoshi to Darcy James Argue to Rufus Reid have found fuel for their musical visions in Tom’s dynamic solos. His mastery of double reeds, flutes and clarinets led the Detroit Free Press to describe his work as “fresh, intelligent” music that “honors post-bop improvisation without falling into clichés associated with bebop, modal jazz or the superficial exotica of world music.” Jazz masters from Joe Lovano and Paquito D’Rivera to Don Sebesky have featured Tom on Grammy winning recordings, and he’s performed and toured with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, to name just a few. He can be heard with Cecile McLorin Salvant on her most recent project Ogresse and on Rufus Reid’s Quiet Pride, David Liebman’s A Tribute to Wayne Shorter, and on Ryan Truesdell’s The Gil Evans Project: Lines of Color. As bandleader and composer, Tom won a composition grant from Chamber Music America for an extended work based on the poetry of Frank O’Hara. Tom featured the piece on his third solo project, New York School (Playscape), a CD All About Jazz listed as one its Top Ten Jazz Albums of the year. Tom’s latest collaboration is Spin Cycle with drummer Scott Neumann. The band has performed at the Rochester and Toronto Jazz Festivals and garnered rave reviews in Downbeat magazine. Tom performs regularly in clubs and concert halls around New York City. He is also the author of several books on jazz pedagogy, the co-founder of Sound Footing Records, and teaches jazz at New York’s prestigious Fieldston School.
Read more articles