Tom McClung: On Both Sides of the Atlantic

Tom McClung, 1991

Click here for Tom McClung's official website

The rest of this page was his former website - last updated in 2007

" Tom's playing reflects the depths of his absorption of the masters: Monk, Bud Powell, Phineas Newborn, Earl Hines ..."

His piano style displays a broad spectrum of musical and emotional colors. Whether playing blistering bebop, sizzling salsa, down-home blues, pastoral folk or avant-garde, McClung’s expressive touch and vivid imagination present a unique and exciting musical experience for all who listen.

Currently at home in Paris, McClung leads his own trio, works with Stephen McCraven’s latest ensemble, “Black Studies”, and is active as a freelancer in clubs and concerts throughout Europe.

Born in New York in 1957 and later moving to western Massachusetts, McClung quickly established himself as an important force in the New England music scene. His sensitivity and musicianship keeps him in-demand as a sideman for a wide variety of bands, as well as accompanist for the region’s leading vocalists. Visiting artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, James Cotton and Bo Diddley would call on McClung when they were in town.

A prolific composer, McClung also led his own band, showcasing his original music and arrangements. He has written and performed music for films, video, dance and theatre. In 1991 he released his first CD as a leader, “Locolypso” (Paraphone 104), receiving wide critical acclaim.

As word of McClung’s talent started to spread, musical luminaries such as Marion Brown, Yusef Lateef, and Archie Shepp began to take notice and employed him for concerts, tours and recordings. Soon he was on the international stage, playing festivals and concerts in Europe, Australia, South America, and throughout the United States.

McClung has also been active as a music educator, teaching classes in theory and improvisation at Amherst College and at the University of Massachusetts, having many private students, and conducting master classes and workshops internationally.

In 1993 McClung began a musical association with the world renowned drummer Stephen McCraven - known for his work with Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, Marion Brown, amongst others. The fruits of their collaboration can be heard on McCraven’s last two CD’s, “Song of the Forest Boogaraboo” (1994) - featuring Archie Shepp; and “Bosco” (1996) featuring Archie Shepp and Arthur Blythe; and McClung’s own “The Telling” (1997) with Nat Reeves on bass.

He has also performed with Ray Copeland, John Blake, Jimmy Knepper, Attilla Zoller, Al Cohn, Benny Waters, Ted Curson, Tino Gonzales, Thomas Chapin, Joe Lee Wilson.......
The Telling

Tom released the telling (Taireva) with Nat Reeves on bass and Stephen McCraven on drums

                 the telling

           Words would just be words,
           until you tell them to me.
           What will they mean then!

           Whispering, shouting,
           there's music in the telling -
           chansons de la vie.

Track list

  1. Hope #2 (Archie Shepp)
  2. Sequoia Song (Tom McClung)
  3. Nature Boy (Eden Ahbez)
  4. The Telling (Tom McClung)
  5. Six for Steve (Tom McClung)
  6. Dues Blues (Tom McClung)
  7. Reflections (Thelonious Monk)
  8. Off Minor (Thelonious Monk)
  9. I Should Care (S. Cahn / A. Stordahl /P. Westen)
  10. Benyayer (Stephen McCraven & Tom McClung)
  11. Dawn Muse (Tom McClung)

"an album that shines with energy and bristles with intensity ... varied ethnic flavors ... obvious synergy created when this trio plays together ... a very satisfying listening experience. ...this is not cocktail music. McCraven drives the band at an unrelenting pace; Reeves and McClung are right there with him, digging the ground he provides for them to fly over.
I particularly like this arrangement (Nature Boy) which begins with an intriguing reharmonization and settles into a medium samba-like groove. McCraven's brushwork is superb. The energy of the disc remains high, even through slow ballads. ... "Benyayer" a groove over a motif derived from some Turkish mode (great bass work) ... "Six for Steve", a syncopated 4+2 ostinato where McClung and McCraven unleash their fiery chops. A fine risk-taking new work."
Review by Carlos Zamolla (Green Mountain Messenger Feb. 1998)

" ... superbly shaded elongated improvisations. They brilliantly showcase the individual & collective artistry of the musicians." - Floyd Levin (Jazz Link - LA)
"... a pianist with enormous ability and potential" - Bert Whyatt (International Jazz Journal)
"... at once casual and precise, a deft pianist inspired by Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Bud Powell ... also the Beatles, African rhythms, Bach ... a creative improvisor, endlessly interesting"

For more information contact Tom McClung:
Click for Tom's online webform
22 rue du Borrego
75020 Paris France
Tel. +33 1 47 97 35 04

Locolypso

Locolypso was released by Tom McClung in 1991 with Jim Fryer (trombone), Scott Gilman (saxophones), Mike Marcus (bass), Phil Ori (drums) and recorded by Grammy Award winning engineer Norman Blain. Locolypso features 6 original McClung compositions (Sparks, Funny Peculiar, Cool It, Chorinho Pra Hermeto, Clockwork, Locolypso) as well as 2 Thelonious Monk classics (Pannonica, Nutty). ... Locolypso in Real Audio  or (34 seconds) in .wav

" ... superbly shaded elongated improvisations. They brilliantly showcase the individual & collective artistry of the musicians." - Floyd Levin (Jazz Link - LA)
"... a pianist with enormous ability and potential" - Bert Whyatt (International Jazz Journal)
"... at once casual and precise, a deft pianist inspired by Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Bud Powell ... also the Beatles, African rhythms, Bach ... a creative improvisor, endlessly interesting"

DISCOGRAPHY


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