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Tom Teasley: Time Travel

Drummer Teasley opens his new recording with a solo drum piece entitled “Fro Max,” and eases into the brisk space of “Seven Steps to Heaven.” From there, the musical palette spreads out-a little thinly at times-as he leans towards synthetic textures and non-swing feels. Teasley plays both actual vibes and the MIDI mallet instrument, the KAT, making for a good argument for the general shift away from electronics in jazz. There are some good electro-acoustic moments here, as on the title track, tasteful drum statements laid atop a sequenced rhythm pattern. Still, though, the best stuff is in the acoustic, real-time jazz tradition, with a trio featuring the nimble guitarist Rick Whitehead and bassist James King. Teasley overdubs the pseudo-bass and piano parts on the quirky minor blues of “Nothing Personal,” by the late, underrated Don Grolnick-the real, interactive pulse of the trio is missed. Needless to say, appreciation of the album may depend on the listener’s current attitude towards electronic paradigms.

Originally Published