Eastern Journey CD

Eastern Journey

Eastern Journey 

2016 Drum! Magazine “World Percussionist of the Year”

Welcome to my latest sonic exploration! Much of this music is inspired by my recent tour to South Korea for the U.S. Department of State.  In addition, this music will serve as the soundtrack for Constellation Theatre’s production, Journey to the West by Mary Zimmerman, based on the Chinese novel published in the 16th century during the Ming dynastyand attributed to Wu Cheng'en, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. While this is not intended to be an authentic or scholarly representation of the depth of Asian music, it is meant to be my humble adaptation through my eyes, ears and imagination influenced by extensive collaborations with musicians throughout the world. I’m performing on more than twenty different instruments. The combination of ancient instruments including djembe, bongos, cymbals, gongs and all manor of percussion with several bamboo flutes are joined with modern electronic percussion, keyboards and melodicas to form the genre bending ancient/futuristic sonic pallet. I’m also adding some traditional Buddhist gongs and Chinese cymbals obtained in my recent travels. In addition, new instruments for this recording include the bawu featured in Journey to the West. Although shaped like a flute, it is actually a free reed instrument, with a single metal reed. The bawu is played in a transverse (horizontal) manner, has a pure clarinet-like timbre and its playing technique incorporates the use of much ornamentation, particularly bending tones. I’m also playing the kouxian in Zen Fever and The Mountain, which is a Chinese ancient jaw harp with pitched reeds allowing for a deep vibrato produced by flexing the cheeks. Even though I’m frequently using African and South American percussion instruments I’m playing with a variety of striking implements to take them out of their traditional environment and finding inspiration in Chinese opera percussion as well as Korean samulnori drumming.

Tapping into more of my jazz background, I’ve explored the use of drumset, jazz phrasing and concepts. Zen Fever is a humorous dialog with soft mallets on the drumset, bamboo flute, keyboards and kouxian inspired by the groove of rhythm and blues classic, Fever, made famous by Peggy Lee. Max in Beijing draws inspiration from one of my mentors, Max Roach, and is a virtual duet for drumset and temple blocks. Monkey Dance is inspired by the work of another jazz percussion legend, Jo Jones. The Gold Cicada features a 4/4 pulse with a quarter note triplet undercurrent phrased as a jazz waltz. Percussion jazz master, Elvin Jones, inspires this piece. The result is a poly-meter of 4/4 and 3/4 concurrently.

As always, my engineer, collaborator and friend Jim Robeson’s contributions are invaluable. I strongly feel that the result is as enjoyable a listen as it was to create.

I sincerely hope that this newest offering of my music can find a place in your ears, mind and heart.

Peace,

Tom                                                

 All compositions by Tom Teasley T2 Music Copyright BMI 2016

Recorded at T2 Studio

Produced by Tom Teasley and Jim Robeson

Engineered by Tom Teasley and Jim Robeson

Mixed by Jim Robeson

Mastered by Tom Teasley

Time Travel

Dreams of India

"Musical accompaniment by Tom Teasley perfectly accentuates the moments with tympani-like crescendo for gigantic events or the soft whipple of a lark for softer moments. Teasley’s mastery of the assorted instruments elevates the experience to new levels by connecting the scenes to the earliest human experience of sound—before there was speech and communication, there was an ancient drumbeat, replicating the heartbeat, and Teasley’s rhythms touch the heart and soul."  Debbie Jackson, DC THEATRE SCENE

Love of the Nightingale

Virtuosic performances on over 15 different instruments, ancient to futuristic, including djembe, frame drums, doumbek, flutes, electronic drums and MalletKat. Balkan style rhythms including meters of 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. This was the soundtrack from the acclaimed Constellation Theatre production of the same name. This CD was recorded using the highest fidelity possible and is audiophile quality.

All the World's a Stage

Jazz fused with rhythms from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. "It's a United Nations of sound, with Teasley at the helm, steering this sonic ark through some uncharted waters... " JAZZ TIMES

Painting Time

Painting Time

Jazz spiced up with rhythms from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. "It's a United Nations of sound, with Teasley at the helm, steering this sonic ark through some uncharted waters... "

Global Groovilization

Global Groovilization

"A jazz-world-funk release... this CD has engaging melodies, rich interplay, and plenty of variety and diversity in its sound, all held together by a unity of groove... Teasley's hand and stick speak volumes."

- Spin the Globe, World Music – KAOS, Olympia, WA

Global Standard Time

Global Standard Time

Latin and Middle Eastern flavors abound on a world-music adaptation of ten jazz standards. Tunes include Thelonius Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Luiz Bonfa's "Manha De Carnival," "Beautiful Love," "Alice in Wonderland," McCoy Tyner's "Passion Dance," Coltrane's "Equinox," Washington & Young's "My Foolish Heart," Sonny Rollins' "No Moe," and Monk's "Well You Needn't."

Word Beat

Word-Beat: The Soul Dances

Middle Eastern songs, African Proverbs, and poetry of Washington D.C.'s Eloise Greenfield are set to music inspired by the words and their place of origin. Vocalist Charles Williams and percussionist Tom Teasley form the acclaimed duo Word-Beat.

Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song

Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song

This blend of spoken word and jazz-infused rhythm was hailed as one of the most important recordings of its kind at the 2007 International Association for Jazz Education conference. IAJE singled out Word-Beat as a leading collaboration in the integration of poetry and music, and described Word-Beat's recordings as "must-haves."

Time Travel

Time Travel

Percussionist Tom Teasley along with guitarist Rick Whitehead, bassist James King and vocalist Linda Teasley create an eclectic mix of mainstream jazz, solo percussion, and synthesizer.

ddreamsof_india.jpgEastern Journey

ddreamsof_india.jpgDreams of India

The_Love_Of_The_Nightingale.jpgThe Love Of The Nightingale

newcover.jpgAll the World's a Stage

coverscan.jpgPainting Time

teasley4gg.jpg

Global Groovilization

teasley3gst.jpgGlobal Standard Time

wordbeatsd.jpgThe Soul Dances