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Musician

Tom Lawton

Tom Lawton grew up in Arcola, PA and attended Methacton High School (remarkable only in that I attended the same school at that time), where he was a brilliant, but chronically truant student. He displayed great promise as a classical pianist, dabbled in British Rock and Roll, and eventually fell into Jazz. He was abbetted in his early education by Philly legend Gerald Price, who gave Tom his early pointers in the art. He later began studies in Philadelphia with renowned pianist Bernard Peiffer, who had emigrated here from France. After Bernard's death, Tom began a long association with the late bassist Al Stauffer, who had accompanied M

Album

The Big Band Project

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2022
Track listing: This Could Be the Start of Something Big; Taking a Chance on Love; The Nearness of You; Jeepers Creepers; Stardust; Easy to Love; One Morning in May; Everything I Love; Latin Medley (O Morro Nao Tern Vez/Midnight Sun/Corcovado); Just in Time; Silent Night.

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Article: Interview

Pianist Joe Block: At the Start of His Big Bang

Read "Pianist Joe Block: At the Start of His Big Bang" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


According to cosmologists, our universe started as a tiny speck and within a fraction of a second exploded into a huge ever-expanding space with all the galaxies, stars, and planets condensing out of the dispersed matter within it. This picture of the origins of the cosmos provides an apt metaphor for the way in which some ...

14

Article: Profile

Hasaan Ibn Ali: Requiem (And Praise) For A Heavyweight Pianist

Read "Hasaan Ibn Ali: Requiem (And Praise) For A Heavyweight Pianist" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


"The new release of Hasaan's Retrospect In Retirement Of Delay: The Solo Recordings (Omnivore Recordings, 2021), which features him in privately recorded performances from 1962 to 1965, reveals his profundity, his overwhelming power, his mighty virtuosity. It does more than put him on the map of jazz history—it expands the map to include the vast expanse ...

3

Article: Live Review

Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2021

Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2021" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Mary Ellen Desmond Comfort and Joy Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany Philadelphia, PA December 12, 2021 Mary Ellen Desmond is one of the most treasured Philadelphia-based vocalists, and for more than a decade she has provided the inspiration for and fronted the same top ...

28

Article: Interview

Norman David: Forty-Year Wizard of The Eleventet

Read "Norman David: Forty-Year Wizard of The Eleventet" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


A few years ago, a musician friend suggested I go hear a band that was playing at a place in Bella Vista, Philadelphia, a neighborhood with a significant jazz history (violinist Joe Venuti and guitarist Eddie Lang lived there and are honored with several plaques and a mural) -but not much current music to speak of. ...

8

Article: Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Flourtown, PA native Len Pierro unveils one monster big band album that will be reverberating well beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania and from radio studios throughout the jazz landscape for quite a long time. The Third Quarter is The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra's recent offering and what an offering of fresh original compositions and re-imagined jazz ...

5

Article: Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any big-band album that opens with a rollicking Four Brothers-style saxophone soli is all but guaranteed to capture one's ear and interest. As it turns out, the buoyant “Fill in the Gap," on which the sax section sparkles, is but the first of many sonic delights on The Third Quarter, a marvelous new CD by Philadelphia-based ...

Album

Soundpath

Label: Clean Feed Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Soundpath: One track for entire composition.

Album

Continuing Action

Label: CoolCraft
Released: 2020
Track listing: 1. Mouse Pad (The Pad of the Mouse) (Live) 2. Subterranean Heights (Live) 3. The Frame of Forever... (Live) 4. Parallel Suite 2020: I. Expansions 5. Parallel Suite 2020: II. Standing Motion 6. Parallel Suite 2020: III. Determination


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