spiritual soul penetrating piano Tom Grant – SIPPING BEAUTY: Though Tom’s piano work has often been “classified” as “smooth jazz”, it will penetrate your spirit and your soul with the same degree of high-energy love of music as even the best be-bop album. The keyboard work on the beautiful “Feathers Falling Up” is a key example of just how connected he is to the music he plays and the beauty inherent in it; I loved the simplicity of this piece, but found myself totally engaged by it for the entire 6:10 length! I loved the rhythmic movement on the opener, “Petrichor Perfume“, as well. (please NOTE that though I have included links to the song samples on Amazon, they are not active yet, since it’s an April release).
Tom also has a great deal of “history” with some of the key players in the jazz arena, most notably (for this reviewer, anyway), folks like Charles Lloyd, Woody Shaw and Joe Henderson, among many others. The breadth of that long-term experience and powerful ability is clearly shining right on through on compositions like the 6:20 “Wrapped In Love“… my best keyword for this ultra-bluesy piece is “electrifying”, and when you listen to it, you’ll hear why I fell in love with Tom’s unique talent as soon as I listened to the first few bars of this song – the background vocals are superb.
So, although Tom has built a following in the smooth jazz community, his talent clearly transcends all those labels, and makes him his own man! I feel very privileged to have gotten the opportunity to be “ahead of the pack” in reviewing this album well ahead of it’s official release in April of 2017… and, since Tom lives only an hour or so away from me in Portland, Oregon, I may journey down his way to witness his artistry in person during these coming months.
It is the 5:42 “Moondrops” that gets my vote for personal favorite of the ten tunes offered up for your musical enjoyment and edification… there are cultural elements woven in, around and throughout the heavy-rhythm piece… heck, I even hear snatches of Ravi Shankar in there somewhere… all kidding aside, this is a set of musical beauty you will find yourself partaking of regularly! I give Tom a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” of 4.99 for this amazing sonic journey. You can get more information about this engaging artist at Tom’s website (and when you contact him, tell him you read about him here, of course). Rotcod Zzaj
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