Tom Gullion Quintet – live in Madison, Wed Aug 20

Tom Gullion Quintet – live in Madison, Wed Aug 20 at the jazz club in the Concourse Hotel

We’re going into the studio to start a new project. Wed, Aug 20th we’ll be previewing some of the material for the recording. Please come out and join us. It’s sure to be great:

David Cooper, trumpet
Tom Gullion, saxophones and bass clarinet
Tim Whalen, piano
Mark Urness, bass
Dane Richeson, drums

Aspects in the studio

We were wildly successful at the recent Driftless Jazz Festival 2008. The group chemistry was incredible: David Cooper on trumpet, Tom Gullion on saxophone, Tim Whalen on piano, Mark Urness on bass and Ernie Adams on drums. Almost everyone in the crowd (and even the musicians) were asking “Why aren’t you guys touring?”

Well, I intend to fix that immediately. We’re going into the studio in a couple of weeks to start a new recording and we’ll be working out tour details soon. I’m even thinking about starting up a small ArtistShare-like site so you can subscribe and be a part of the process. I have some raw video footage of our performances at the jazz festival and I’ll be posting excerpts here soon.

We’ll be producing videos of our recording sessions and I’ll even include charts as desired.

Peace be with ya!

Youtube’s effect on jazz education

I’ve been teaching a jazz history course at a local, private high school ( It’s an interesting challenge because it’s open to all students – not just music majors.

As a way to make the music accessible to non-musicians, I’ve been playing a LOT of music from various posts: early Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, etc. What an amazing experience to be able to discuss the evolution of jazz and then show videos of the players. It really brings the whole topic to life.

I’m not claiming a big discovery here. Sure, it’s a rather obvious thing to do. The reason I’m writing about it is the revelation to me: this was completely impossible just a few short years ago. I went to one of the largest music universities in the US but never saw any film footage of the jazz greats there. I remember the impact of seeing John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy on film – that was an incredible moment! Today, it’s immediately accessible.

I wonder what the impact will be for all this immediate access to so much content. When working with young jazz bands, I’ve been suggesting they search youtube for any music they’re playing. What a great thing to see and hear the original bands playing the tune. But also, possibly just as important, seeing similar age school groups playing as well. I remember how inspirational it was to come back from a jazz festival having heard other great bands. It was always a very quick lesson in how much more I needed to practice!

This is one of the positive stories about the good the Internet can provide. Well, as long as you don’t show your students some of the obnoxious comments people sometimes post on youtube. Can’t we all just behave ourselves?

Freedomfest 2008 lineup announced

See for more details.

The Madison Center for Creative and Cultural Arts and the Overture Center for the Arts proudly present FreedomFest 2008, a one-day festival of creative jazz music for liberated souls on Friday, February 22 from noon to midnight at the Overture Center Lobby.

2:00—3:30 PM ||||| The People’s Drum Circle of Madison 

3:45—4:45 PM |||||  Madison Area High School Jazz All-Stars 

5:30—6:30 PM ||||| Tom Gullion Quartet featuring the great Ernie Adams on drums.

6:45—7:45 PM ||||| Jazz String Quintet with Jim Gailloreto 

8:00—9:00 PM |||||  The Seekers |||||  Hanah Jon Taylor debuts a new international ensemble featuring Jobic LeMasson on piano, Tatsu Aoki on bass, and Reggie Nicholson on drums.

9:15—10:15 PM |||||  Douglas Ewart and Inventions |||||  Legendary member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) presents his 9-piece ensemble featuring Dee Alexander (Jazz Performer of the Year 2007, Chicago Tribune)

10:45— Midnight -||||| Archie Shepp Quartet |||||  Jazz icon comes to Madison from Paris as the FreedomFest 2008 feature with Steve McCraven on drums, Willie Pickens on piano and Richard Davis on bass.

Tickets are on sale at B-Side Music at 436 State; Strictly Discs at 1600 Monroe Street,  and MadCity Music Exchange at 600 Williamson Street.  The cost is $35 general admission and $20 for students. 

For additional information please contact the MCCCA at 251-2787 or 347-5988; and the Overture Center at 258-4141 for ticket information. 

FreedomFest 2008

This just in: the Tom Gullion Quartet (featuring drummer Ernie Adams) will be performing at FreedomFest 2008 in Madison, WI on Feb 22nd. This festival is put forth by Hanah Jon Taylor annually and this year’s headliner will be none other than Archie Shepp! Obviously, we’re very excited to be a part of it. More details will eventually we available at

I’ll update details as they solidify. Save the date!!