TG3


Tom Guralnick on Morningside Drive | April 25, 1997 | Photo by Mark Weber


Tom Guralnick Trio |  Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

Tom Guralnick brought forth this CD via the distillation process. Rather than keep a band for ten years and produce ten CDs, he boiled ten years of investigation and work down to one compact disk that clocks in at 51:27 minutes of absolute acute artistry.


Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

Yes, there were limited edition cassettes and private recordings prior to the release of PITCHIN’ — back in the Cassette Era — but, all of that work was part of the boiling-down process that went toward this gem of a CD. Would that we all practiced such brevity & conciseness & clarity in our work.


Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

I asked Tom how long was the tg3 was in existence?

Tom: TG3 was formed as the Tom Guralnick Quartet with Zimbabwe Nkenya on bass and with various drummers (Pete Amahl, Al Faaet) until Jefferson Voorhees moved to Albuquerque from the Bay Area and joined us in 1988. I had played duos and in various conglomerations with Steve Feld since 1977 and with Zimbabwe Nkenya soon after that. The group performed as a Trio (TG3) in 1996 and performed together through 2001.


TG4 | Stefan Dill, Steve Feld, Jefferson Voorhees, Tom Guralnick, | April 7, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

After Zimbabwe left the group Tom added Stefan Dill on guitar for a series of concerts and tour around New Mexico April 1995. Thereafter the group went trio and was known as the TG3. From time to time Tom invited guests to join them for a concert or part of a concert. These included trumpeter Jonathan Baldwin and tap dancer Mark Yonally.


TG4 | Stefan Dill, guitar; Steve Feld, trombone, Jefferson Voorhees, drums, Tom Guralnick, saxophones | in performance at Outpost Performance Space | April 10, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

MW: Were the tunes written specifically for that trio/quartet ?

Tom: Most tunes were written specifically for the trio/quartet although some, like Baritaltology, pre-dated the group. Originally played on baritone saxophone it was called Baritonology and was written in 1979 for my group which I called Small Comfort (immortalizing one not so intrepid critic’s description of the group) which included Andrew Poling on drums and Robyn Schulkowsky who taught at UNM (Chris Shultis’ predecessor) and went on to work with Karlheinz Stockhausen and others, on vibes. When I bought the bass saxophone the piece became Bassic Baritonology and then when I began to explore the alto saxophone (which I had never played before working with the trio) I re-named the piece Baritaltology. In addition to my tunes towards the end of TG3’s existence, we began to explore some of the music of Steve Lacy whom we all felt a real musical kinship with and deep respect for.


TG4 | Stefan Dill, Steve Feld, Jefferson Voorhees, Tom Guralnick,  | April 7, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

MW: Besides playing Albuquerque where else did TG3 and TG4 perform? I know you went to Vancouver Jazz Festival one year? and when Stefan was in the band didn’t you tour down as far as Deming (New Mexico) and another time you guys went somewhere like Texas?

Tom: We actually did a tour that included several the Western Canadian Jazz Network festivals: Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Edmonton, which was a real treat. At these festivals I also played solo (on my extended set-up of prepared saxophones and electronics) as well as trio concerts. In Saskatoon, I remember that Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band came to check out my crazy solo set which pleased me to no end. We also did a West Coast Tour (or maybe two separate ones?) beginning at a Los Angeles club in a new music series curated by Vinny Golia and others; the Aetheneum in La Jolla; the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz; Yoshi’s in Oakland; the Hotel Utah in San Francisco; a space in Berkeley as part of the Beanbender’s series curated by Dan Plonsey, Earshot Jazz (The Tractor Tavern) in Seattle (where we were a part of the Seattle Improvised Music Festival and infuriated the dyed-in- the-wool improvised music enthusiasts because we actually read from sheet music and played pre-composed pieces); a coffeehouse in Ashland, OR; and a club in Portland, OR, as part of a series booked by trumpeter Rob Blakeslee. Our Southwest tour included a concert in one of the hottest (temperature-wise) clubs in Phoenix (2 very loud floor fans blowing directly on us the entire time); and in Austin in a series curated by the late great Tina Marsh.

Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

It was immediately upon return from June & July 1996 tour of the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada that the TG3 went into the little upstairs studios of Ubik and recorded PITCHIN’. That was when Ubik was located at 125 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, corner of Gold Avenue.

Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

We all know Tom Guralnick in New Mexico as the big wheel behind our jazz (& other music) club Outpost Performance Space. But, playing saxophones was a big part of his life (since his days at Bennington College around 1970 under the guidance of trumpeter/composer Bill Dixon), until his duties at the Outpost forced him to set the horns aside for awhile.

Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

Tom Guralnick, Executive Director, Outpost Productions, Inc. PO Box 4543, Albuquerque, NM 87196, Tel: 505.268.0044 | tguralnick@comcast.net | www.outpostspace.org

Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

The first edition of PITCHIN’ ran out and Steve Feld moved forward with re-issuing it onto his label. Tom had said that Steve had possibly re-mixed it from the original ADATs (Manny is a big believer in ADAT technology). I wrote Steve and he had this:

Steve: The 1996 Pitchin CD was released in an edition of 1000 on PostOut. The original recording and mix was done by Manny Rettinger at his upstairs loft studio with ADAT multitrack recording, and it was mastered by David Dunn at the College of Santa Fe. The 2010 republication is also released in an edition of 1000 on VoxLox, remastered by Bill Boaz at his Fourth World Studios in Santa Fe in spring 2010. New digital mastering technologies make possible very precise and selective EQ interventions, as well as spatial processing. Those were applied to update the overall sound quality and to address some specific issues, like the original drum levels.


Jefferson Voorhees and his daughter Sage | April 10, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

I wrote back to clarify.

MW: So, you fixed Jefferson’s levels by using EQ ? Not remixing?

Steve: The new reissue edition sound update was done by remastering the original. New digital mastering technologies make possible very precise and selective EQ interventions, as well as spatial processing. Those were applied to bring up the overall sound quality and to address some specific issues, like the original drum levels.

Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | April 7, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber


Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber


Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber


Tom Guralnick Trio | Steve Feld, trombone; Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

Let’s take all this
up a notch ——— everything
we know ————– and
cut loose —————– keeping
it real at all times

(that’s how TG3 feels to me —
a true jazz sound)

Mark Weber

It was Tom who introduced me to the ideas of “role playing” in small group jazz. Where each instrument inhabits that traditional role but not necessarily playing what is expected.

Tom Guralnick Trio | Jefferson Voorhees, drums; Tom Guralnick, saxophones; Steve Feld, trombone   | November 4, 1995, Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

TG3 | November 4, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

TG3 | November 4, 1995 | Photos by Mark Weber

TG3 | November 4, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber

TG3 | November 4, 1995 | Photo by Mark Weber


Tom Guralnick & his soprano | April 25, 1997 | Photo by Mark Weber

Steve Feld & Roswell Rudd | April 6, 1999 Albuquerque | Photo by Mark Weber

Zimbabwe Nkenya, Cecil Taylor, Tom Guralnick @ University of New Mexico, Albuquerque | April 6, 2005 | Photo by Mark Weber

Bobby Bradford mugging with the “normaphone” @ Outpost Performance Space as Tom Guralnick looks on | April 12, 2004 |  Photo by Mark Weber

Tom Guralnick and the after-effects of graffiti | March 21, 2003 | Photo by Mark Weber

Mark Weber | April 3 & 4, 2012

Please Note: This recording is available by clicking here… or just click the cover on top of this page, or the following cover images…

listen to TG 3 (Feld, Voorhees, Guralnick | Riceland


12 Comments

  1. Cuzzin' Patsy aka Lillie White

    April 5, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Great article about one of my very favorite CDs. TG3 is on my list of “Music I Would Have With Me On A Desert Island”, although the point is most likely moot because there would be no electricity on a desert island. That said, what an album!! What a band! Every time I sub for you, dear Cuz’ I play a cut from TG3 — lest we forget, yanno?

    My favorite? Riceland or maybe Kai’s Mom…

  2. David Weisberg

    April 5, 2012 at 1:51 am

    I’ve been a fan of this CD for years. It’s a small masterpiece, and after repeated listening it still surprises me. Time for a comeback album, fellas?

  3. The Tom Guralnick Trio

    This is great! What a cool site.
    M

  4. i keep this CD in my car & listen frequently. everytime i play it i think “what great music!” classic. i’d never seen these fotos. these guys should get together again.

  5. Great to see this article, the photos, and hear the story.
    I just asked Tom about doing “Baritaltology”- a classic tune!
    Al

  6. A revival is called for indeed.

  7. Cuzzin' Patsy aka Lillie White

    April 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    A revival! Wow! What a concept! And really these photos are priceless..I mean it, priceless.. thank you so much for sharing them!

  8. Thanks for putting this up there, Mark. You are always in the forefront of documenting stuff so that it isn’t forgotten…and once you do it, it makes me realize how valuable that is. You are a treasure, my man. And thanks to everybody who has commented. Would that make you fans? Anyway TG3 was a great endeavor. We had fun working together for so many years (and fun as a quartet before that…all those years working with Zimbabwe Nkenya and others passing through the group) The music was fun, alive, and we tried to always keep it fresh. A great process. Fun rehearsals (lots of rehearsal tea (ginger) at Steve’s studio. The tours and the recordings were icing on the cake… the TG3 cd is a great document of what we did together. I think we’re all proud of it.

  9. I came across a radio aircheck from May 17, 1998 with TG3 live on KUNM and was reminded that they had began to incorporate Steve Lacy tunes into their performances. On this date they played “Dutch Masters” and “The Crust” by Lacy.

    I seemed to recall they performed a Lacy tune that was dedicated to James Brown called something like “#1″ (it has a spoken part where the band testifies “He’s number one!”) I asked Tom about the Lacy tunes. I also asked about the core repertoire of TG compositions in their book. In Tom’s response (below) note that one extra tune is listed that wasn’t on PITCHIN.

    Hi Mark
    Looking through my music, it looks like we played (or at least worked on) the following Lacy tunes:
    Dutch Masters
    Art (to Kenneth Noland)
    The Crust
    Number One
    The Wane
    Blinks (for Kid Ory)
    Esteem (for Johnny Hodges)

    and Rockin in Rhythm by Ellington

    As for my tunes in the book, they included (maybe that’s all)

    Time Waits
    Baritaltology (1979)
    Played Once
    Morningside Stroll
    Blues Solo I (1981)
    #7VCL (1991)
    Something ‘Bout BZ (1989)
    Llabad
    F’Ornet
    Riceland (1989)
    Kai’s Mom
    Pitchin'(1995)

  10. I finally got around to listening to Tom Guralnick’s CD today. It’s quite amazing! I knew he was an avant-garde (not my favorite listen) player but this really impressed me. His chops, not only technically , but in the “effects” area I found very impressive. However, his TUNES and arrangements of them stood out as exceptional. I’m glad I found out about this CD on your page. I wonder why he quit playing?

    Bobby Shew

  11. Tom Guralnick

    June 3, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Thanks Bobby. Really nice to read your comments! Why I quit playing? Quite simply, I ran out of hours in the day. This Outpost is a real bear! A lovable one of course…but one that needs a lot of attention. As did my music. Something had to give. For now it was the music. Thanks again. You are a rare and open-minded man. I really appreciate that/you. tg

  12. Very kind. His rationale is highly understandable and respected. What he does for the arts in Abq is exceptional, needless to say. I just hate to see someone of extreme talent lose their connection to the aesthetic wave length……..but, even tho he still doesn’t physically play, I’d bet that he still plays on the inside!

Leave a Reply

© 2015 Mark Weber

Theme by Anders Noren adapted for M.etropolis by RavanHUp ↑

Shopping Cart

There are no items in your cart.

Continue Shopping
%d bloggers like this: