The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 07.15.11

The Pace Report: "Jazz Meets Classical: Debussy and Ravel" The Tom Harrell Interview

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As part of the first Blue Note Jazz Festival, trumpeter and composer Tom Harrell and his quintet played a very special set at The Highline Ballroom. In lieu of his next upcoming project, a classical project featuring the music of Debussy and Ravel, Tom’s set was titled “Jazz Meets Classical: Debussy and Ravel.” He even introduced and played nine new pieces with his quintet and a string section. Even though He went back to his classical training roots, the new pieces were explosive and the strings enhanced the jazz component of his work.The music was written for his chamber ensemble that includes members of his quintet with tenor and soprano saxes, flute, violin, cello, piano, guitar, bass and drums. The chamber ensemble for the Highline Ballroom set features: Wayne Escoffery - soprano and tenor; Dan Block - flute, Meg Okura - violin; Rubin Kodheli - cello; Rale Micic on guitar; Danny Grissett on piano; Ugonna Okegwo on bass; and Johnathan Blake on drums. Since he was a youngster, trumpeter and composer Tom Harrell has never stayed stagnant musically. His latest Highnote Records release “The Time of the Sun” has topped the jazz charts for last month. Harrell’s group consists of jazz music’s rising superstars that feature Wayne Escoffery on tenor sax, Danny Grissett on piano and Fender Rhodes, Ugonna Okegwo on bass, and Jonathan Blake on drums. This unit has been recording together since 2007. Tom was nominated for Best Instrumentalist of the Year at this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards. Tom’s ability to lead has been evident throughout the years with over 25 recordings under his belt and is a staple in the jazz world. He’s played with a plethora of artists ranging from Stan Kenton, Phil Woods, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, and his mentor Horace Silver. As a composer, his music has been played by Vince Guaraldi, Carlos Santana, and Phil Woods. Currently Tom is on tour with his quintemoreless

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