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Tom Christensen

Tom Christensen

Gualala is the debut recording for Naxos by the fine saxist/reed player and composer Tom Christensen. An artful quartet project, sans chordal instrument, the CD features fellow reed player Charles Pillow, bassist Ben Allison or Doug Weiss and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. The sound is best described as chamber jazz, especially given Christensen’s composerly instincts and the novel use of oboes in the mix.

The oboe inclination came off-handedly, as he was running down original tunes for his friend and mentor Dave Liebman. “Liebman said ‘Man, why don’t you play oboe on this record? What are you thinking?’ I didn’t have a valid answer. And then I thought, ‘What’s better than one oboe? Two oboes.'” He laughs, “not always, actually.”

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