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Perspective by Tom Tallitsch

Cleveland, Ohio native Tom Tallitsch currently lives in Hamilton, NJ. A saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, composer and jazz radio host, he is the founding director of the Central NJ Homeschool Bands, works as a piano tutor to students with autism at The Princeton Child Development Institute, and was a member of the artist faculty at Mercer County Community College from 1999-2006. Previous teaching positions include The Westminster Conservatory, the Philadelphia Clef Club, the Creative Music Studios and The Groove Academy. Tallitsch is the organizer of the non-profit arts organization "Living Arts Outreach, Inc." This recording features Tallitsch working with Philadelphia area artists including John Stenger on piano, guitarist Victor Baker, bassist Paul Gehman and Justin Leigh on drums. All eight tracks were composed by Tallitsch.

As a composer Tallitsch’s compositions grow and slowly evolve rather than take the more traditional head-solo-head arrangement. This is more a reflection of the intuitive leanings of the ensemble as a whole than any outside construed influence. Leigh’s brilliant drum work drives each of the tracks forward on to new vistas, but in different ways. Sometimes he allows things to grow organically, as on "Swirl," and sometimes he’s more in the front," as on "Conscious Contact." What he never is, however, is uninvolved. Intuitively tied into the musicians around him, his brilliant technique is a wonderful foil to the long lines Tallitsch has a tendency to unfurl.

As a saxophonist Tallitsch is all about building solos, taking the listener on a journey. An obvious student of the jazz art form, Tallitsch knows how to take the harmonic possibilities his compositions include and craft soloistic lines that move forward towards greater and greater emotional highs. With such an incredibly empathetic group of musicians around him, the results are almost always wonderful.

The accompanying ensemble makes the most of Tallitsch’s music. Stenger’s piano, many times call upon to play swirling and quickly repeated ostinato-ish figurations, as on "Propellerhead" and "Red Giant," among others, is sensitive almost to a fault. Careful to remain an accompanist, his comping choices sometimes lack a bit of bite, but you can’t fault his abilities as his solos throughout the disc are exquisite. Gehman’s bass work reacts more than connects, but there is so much introspective playing going on around him you can’t fault him. In the growing canon of recorded work by Tallitsch Perspective offers another fine example of the work by this continually growing and developing artist.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tom Tallitsch
  • CD Title: Perspective
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2009
  • Record Label: OA2 Records
  • Tracks: Swirl, Conscious Contact, Propellerhead, Red Giant, Slippery Rock, Tall Order, Dark Before The Dawn and In A Whirl
  • Musicians: Tom Tallitsch (tenor and soprano saxophone), John Stenger (piano), Victor Baker (guitar), Paul Gehman (bass), Justin Leigh (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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