Tom has been playing piano since he was four years old and it is definitely the instrument that helps him get closest to his soul. His current style of piano playing is a virtual gumbo of Jazz, Swing, Stride, New Orleans R &B, Blues and Boogie Woogie. Tom has worked both as a solo artist and in everything from a duo up to an 18-piece big band. A few years back he began playing solo in a great music and food venue called Chicky’s Fine Diner, in Westbrook, Maine. Though Chicky’s is now closed, Tom’s two years there, playing a beat-up old upright piano one or two nights a week, got him back in touch with his love of all different styles of American piano playing. He dug into his blues roots, his love of stride and bebop jazz, and the deep funk of the piano music from New Orleans. Chicky Stolz of the fabled Chicky’s Fine Diner said – “Tom was our piano player, he set the tone. The dude smokes the keys – he’s got battery acid in his veins…”
The solo piano project is about exploring these influences further and trying to capture, in a recording, some of the spontaneous, stylistic cross-pollination and explorations. Tom hopes to start recording this spring and summer.
Included here are samples of Tom’s piano playing from other recordings that will hopefully whet your appetite for the solo recordings that will be coming later this year.
In October of 2012, Tom gave a concert in honor of his parents in which he featured a diversity of styles and approaches to playing solo piano. He hopes to continue performing these types of shows and continue pushing his own boundaries in the process.
Tom had this to say about his piano playing…
“I have worshipped at the altar of the great Professor Longhair; bowed down in the Church of Thelonious Sphere Monk; asked for mercy at the feet of Earl “Fatha” Hines; been transformed in the Temple of Duke Ellington; struck dumb by the omnipotence of Art Tatum; simply flabbergasted by the sheer elegance of Nat “King” Cole, Teddy Wilson and Tommy Flanagan; pulverized by the power of Pete Johnson; overwhelmed by the mighty mojo of Mac Rebennack and been beatituded by the bodacious Bud Powel.
It is a truly humbling experience to call yourself a piano player.”