4

Tom Chang: Tongue and Groove

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Tom Chang: Tongue and Groove
When did the ultimate compliment for a jazz performance switch from "you swing, cat" to "you rock, dude"? Perhaps it happened after a generation of jazz artists raised on rock-n-roll found their way into improvisation and the latitudes of expression that jazz enable. Case in point is Tongue And Groove by guitarist Tom Chang.

Raised on the music of Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, and Jimmy Page, his soul was imprinted with their spirit as he applied his guitar sound to the jazz world. Together with saxophonists Greg Ward (Living By Lanterns, Mike Reed) and Jason Rigby (Kris Davis Group, Eivind Opsvik's Overseas), bassist Chris Lightcap (Regina Carter, Matt Wilson, Anthony Braxton), and drummer Gerald Cleaver (Ivo Perelman, Craig Taborn) the guitarist infuses metal bits into his jazz banquet. "Spinal Tap / Goes to 11" is a take-off on the movie spoof that serves from a head-banging trough. Begging, as the title indicates, to be turned up to 11. The track, reprised again at the end of the disc, is anything but obtuse. Like David Fiuczynski or John Scofield, he communicates jazz with a rock accent. There is a bleed through of Led Zeppelin heard on "Bar Codes." But also heard is the influence of Bill Frisell and Jim Hall.

Chang understands jazz is an amalgamation process. The blues are referenced here, and bit of funk show up on "Scatterbrain." He has inherited the universal rhythms of Rudresh Mahanthappa's music, employing South Indian percussive vocalist Subash Chandran on the title track. The music shifts from the East to Anton Webern with "Variations for Piano Op. 27," to accent his jazz band's ability to solve the complexity of classical music in the manner of a Steve Coleman M-BASE composition. Chang's mix is whip-smart and perceptive.

Track Listing

Spinal Tap / Goes to 11; Djangolongo; Variations for Piano Op. 27; Sleepwalker; Tongue & Groove; Scatterbrain; Bar Codes; The Logos; Entangoed Heart; Spinal Tap (Tk. 2).

Personnel

Tom Chang: guitar; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Jason Rigby: tenor saxophone; Chris Lightcap: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Akshay Anatapadmanabhan: kanjira, mrindigam; Subash Chandran: konnakol.

Album information

Title: Tongue and Groove | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Secret Suite
Nick Lombardelli
The One And The Other
Lara Solnicki
Flatbosc & Cautery
Frank Gratkowski, Achim Kaufmann, Wilbert de...
Shuffling Ivories
Roberto Magris
Kinetic
Steven Feifke Big Band
Sogni D’oro
Berlin Mallet Group
Light as a Word
Remy Le Boeuf
Love is the Key
Sue Maskaleris

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.