OW Oshkosh residency

I had a great time working with students at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in December, 2009. Special thanks to professor Marty Robinson for the great hospitality and for building such a great jazz program. It was delightful to play with the band, chat with the music business class, teach a few lessons and hang with the cats after the concert! The only downside was the blizzard raging outside limited the audience. Those that did attend certainly earned their stripes!

concert photo

Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2009 MP3s

I had the great pleasure of performing with Ernie Adams at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2009, 3rd annual. It’s a really great festival worth attending. Great location, great music, really well organized.

Here are a few MP3s of our set. Musicians are Tom Gullion (saxophone), Tim Whalen (piano), Larry Gray (bass), Ernie Adams (drums) and Juan Picorelli (percussion).

Carswell (Tom Gullion)

For Chick (Tim Whalen)

One Look (Larry Gray)

Asiatic Raes (Kenny Dorham)

Carswell video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LmHqcMNDWY

Hyde Park Jazz Festival – Sat, Feb 26th, 3:30pm

This Saturday, Sep 26th, is the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. I’ll be performing with drummer Ernie Adams, pianist Tim Whalen and bassist Larry Gray at Experimental Station at 3:30pm. Please join us.

Experimental Station is here (map).

The rest of the festival is worth checking out. A great collection of Chicago musicians and it’s free. 🙂

More details are available at http://www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org/

While you’re there, be sure to tweet using #jazzlives and announce your support for live music!


My evolving approach to improvisation and composition has been a process of “unschooling.” I don’t know what else to call it. Here I’ll try to explain…

I spent so much of my time studying harmony and worked diligently to understand it from multiple perspectives. Indeed, there remains a lot more to study. No one could possibly finish that task.

However, the music that speaks to me deeply is not harmonically complex. It is more earthy, more soulful, more spontaneous than we usually associate with complex music.

I also noticed that when confronted with complex chords in music musicians tend to bury their noses in the printed music and play less emotionally.

Then comes trumpeter Woody Shaw with the answer.

His music almost always sounds organic and soulful. Yet his tunes have harmonic complexity and an incredibly natural emotional curve. I really admire his work.

Crafting tunes that have all these attributes has been my goal of late. My latest recording, Carswell, comes close but there’s a lot more work to do. Meanwhile, you’ll find me working on unschooling my craft and getting to it.

Carswell is ready. Soon to be released!

My new disc, Carswell, is back from manufacturing! All the behind-the-scenes stuff of releasing a record is happening fast and furious. In those few idle minutes, I plan to make updates of progress and release some supplemental material: photos, background info and even a PDF of the music.

The music on this album is a huge step forward for me. I really worked hard on the compositions, taking musical ideas from my past experiences and sculpting them into something new. Those compositions were modified after a few live performances to further fine-tune the emotional landscape of the piece.

Here’s a teaser jpg of the disc cover:

Mellowing demo

I’m considering putting together my new project “in the open” (as it’s called in software development). I don’t mean that it’s “open source” as in FREE but rather that I’d like to include YOU in the process of creating this project.

I’ve already posted a few photos from our session in August. Perhaps you’d like to see and hear some of the source material and listen to the transformation that takes place when a composition comes to life. So here I’m posting a new tune, Mellowing, as both a score and a link to the demo MP3. Once I finish mixing the “final” track I’ll post here about where to get it.

The demo MP3 can be found at http://www.tingjing.com/tg/demos/mellowingdemo.mp3

Thanks for participating!

Feel free to drop a comment or suggestion about how you’d like to see this take place.

Download now or preview on posterous

Mellowing.pdf (133 KB)

Posted by email from tomgullion’s posterous

Photos from Aspect Jazz recording session in Aug, 2008

We had a great recording session in August, recording some brand new music. I’m working on the tracks now in my studio but wanted to share some photos from the session. Richard Bock did an amazing job making us look good – in spite of the bizarre green-painted floor in the studio. The truth is that the studio is mainly a video studio where the green does a good job for masking the weather map (or other graphics) behind the person. However, for us, it left this odd green shading.

Anyway, the music turned out great. We played a gig in Madison the night before. Bopped up to Brett Huus’ studio for the session and had great fun cranking out the music. Musicians included Tom Gullion (saxophone and alto flute), David Cooper (trumpet and flugelhorn), Tim Whalen (piano), Mark Urness (bass) and Dane Richeson (drums).