Ian Toms Trio | Playbook

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CANADA - Prince Edward Island

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Jazz-Pop Moods: Instrumental
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by Ian Toms Trio

Jazz trio arrangements of composers from Gershwin to Dylan to Bowie (with a few originals for good measure)!
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
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  Song Share Time Download
1. But Not for Me
7:19 $0.99
2. Bird On a Wire
7:01 $0.99
3. Life On Mars?
6:19 $0.99
4. Standard Rep
5:56 $0.99
5. Child Eyes
5:55 $0.99
6. Togethering
4:25 $0.99
7. I'll Be Seeing You
5:48 $0.99
8. Fake Plastic Trees
6:18 $0.99
9. Tune for Sad Panda
5:59 $0.99
10. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
5:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“...a textbook lesson in phrasing, time and class.” –Doug Gallant, The Guardian

Guitarist Ian Toms is a Prince Edward Island based musician who has been writing and playing jazz music for the past fifteen years. With a smooth and full sound, his approach to the instrument fits somewhere between Grant Green, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and Lenny Breau. A graduate of McGill's Masters in Jazz Studies program, Ian spent six years studying and playing with Montreal’s top jazz musicians, including Joe Sullivan, André White, and Gordon Foote. In early 2005, Ian decided to move back to PEI and pursue his musical career from his hometown of Charlottetown.

Playbook, Ian’s latest album, is a trio project featuring Ian’s long-time collaborators, drummer Richard Knox and bassist Ross Macdonald. The album title refers to Ian’s fakebook of trio arrangements that has been compiled over the past five years, which he calls the “trio playbook”. The disc showcases jazz arrangements of tunes by composers as diverse as Bob Dylan, George Gershwin, Radiohead, Sammy Fain, Doug Riley, and David Bowie. Take a listen to the samples on Cdbaby or check out the streamed version on Soundcloud.com.

Critics have described Ian as an "exceedingly fine player, fluid, very tasteful, and adventurous without being showy". Over his career, Ian has performed over a thousand shows and has played with many jazz heavyweights including Phil Woods, Kevin Dean, Pat Labarbera, Joel Miller, Christine Jensen, and the late, great Doug Riley.

OPEN, Ian’s first album as a leader, features seven original tunes that range in texture from Kenny Wheeler-esque to straight-ahead organ quartet, with a solo piece and a vocal number thrown in for good measure. OPEN won Blues/Jazz Recording of the Year and Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2006 PEI Music Awards. The album was also nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Jazz Recording of the Year.

Recently, Ian has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, was the house guitarist for the 2011 ECMA industry awards, and performed for Prince William and his wife, Catherine. Ian’s work as a sideman has made him a key contributor on over a dozen Music PEI awards. His work has also been featured on ECMA-nominated projects by saxophonist Glen Strickey, country chanteuse Meaghan Blanchard, and the world music collective Native Gumbo.

Currently, Ian is a regular on the Charlottetown live music scene. He also serves as an instructor of applied music at the University of Prince Edward Island and runs a jazz band for local high school students. When he’s not gigging or teaching, Ian spends his time with his wife, Jannah, and two young daughters, Emma and Julie.


All of my favourite guitar players are masters of the trio format, from Pat Metheny to Barney Kessel to Wayne Krantz and Jim Hall. I’ve been working on my trio playing for the last ten years or so and it has become my preferred instrumentation. This album contains tunes from my trio playbook, a “select” fakebook that I put together a few years ago. I’ve included some of my favourite tunes from that playbook: a mixture of standards, original jazz tunes, and modern(ish) pop tunes.

I met Ross when I was five years old and we’ve been playing music together for the past 17 years. Although we now live in different provinces, we make a point of playing together whenever we get the chance. Ross has an impeccable melodic sense and always manages to bring out the best in all of the musicians he plays with.

Rich and I began playing together when I was finishing my undergrad in music and he was in high school. At 16, he was easily one of the best drummers in town. Rich brings a sense of imagination and command to the music which I admire greatly. We’ve played a lot of trio gigs together and performing with Rich is always a highlight. This recording session was no exception.

Since the guitar trio format leaves each instrument so exposed, you have to be sure that your bandmates will support you at all times (and vice versa). In the end music, like life, boils down to trust. It has been a delight to record this album with Ross and Rich because our musical trust is implicit and complete. I hope that you enjoy listening to this album as much as we enjoyed making it... though I doubt that’s possible.

Ian Toms
June 2012



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