October 21, 2016
Tom Pierson – piano
Mark Tourian – bass
Byson Katayama – drums
In Tom Pierson’s live concert anything can happen, but one thing always happens–great music.
For those who have not had the pleasure of knowing Tom Pierson, he is an American composer, arranger, conductor, musical director and classical and jazz pianist. He studied at the prestigious Juilliard School of music in New York, where Miles Davis studied. He worked with great movie directors such as Milos Forman, Robert Altman and Woody Allen. He also has a big band that is complexly innovative and deeply satisfying.
Tom has the mastery of the art of the trio, as well as mastering the solo and the big band. In a trio setting, he pushes, stirs up and challenges his stage mates, and because they are all excellent musicians, the magic happens. For this show, he invited two of the best jazz musicians in Japan, Mark Tourian on bass and Bison Katayama on drums. Musicians are always happy to play with Tom because they know they’ll be called to push the limits of expression and they’ll have a gloriously good time making music with him.
His way to present the theme, arrange the tunes and improvise is far from conventional. His harmony is very special and unique, and is rooted in spontaneity. Everything happens at the time he is playing, there is no pre-conceived arrangement. Most of the songs are played from the heart, no scores needed.
Even the repertoire is assembled right there on stage. To choose the next tune, he fingers the piano keys with his right hand while leafing through the pile of scores on the top of piano with his left hand until he chances on the music that becomes the perfect, following choice. The trio is ready to play in the moment and from the moment.
This time the repertoire had no standards, but included well-known songs such, Tadd Dameron’s “Hot House,” Tony Hatch’s “Call Me,” Miles Davis’ “ESP,” Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly,” Wes Montgomery’s “West Coast Blues,” among others.
The music was challenging, the musicians were challenged, the audience was challenged, and everyone went home happy. With Tom’s trio, everyone responded at the same high level, exciting, inspiring, satisfying.