The Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet debut release, "Perspectives"
Minor League (Duke Pearson)
Just Chill (Dempsey)
Delia's Samba (Ferguson)
You Wait Here (Ferguson)
The Look Within (Dempsey)
East River Crossing (Dempsey)
Tom Dempsey-guitar, Tim Ferguson-bass, David Bixler-alto sax, Jeff Brillinger-drums
Release date: 29 June 2004
Distributed by Imaginary Distribution
Available through North Country Distributors, cadence.com, half.com, Amazon.com, and the rare physical store...
Guitarist Tom Dempsey and bassist Tim Ferguson are both well established New York musicians whose extensive resumes include work with some of the biggest names in jazz. Since meeting in 1988, they have worked together on a variety of projects, touring the US and Europe in duo and trio formats and collaborating on various recordings including Dempsey's 1998 CD "Blues in the Slope" on Igmod records. In 2001 the two friends decided to embark on a project to showcase their original compositions. The result is the Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet and with their first recording "Perspectives" on the Imaginary Records label, they present a unique and fresh voice in jazz. The recording offers insight into the artistry of these two musicians individually and of the ensemble as a whole.
Dempsey has worked with such jazz greats as Dave Brubeck, Jim Hall, George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Kenny Barron, and Jack McDuff. He is also active in other aspects of the music business working in television on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and performing with a number of Broadway shows. A versatile guitarist, Dempsey brings many of these different experiences to this group and his compositions. "I feel as though music and musicians are too easily compartmentalized and put into boxes in this country. I enjoy a whole spectrum of music and feel that a musician's true artistic expressions are greatly influenced by a host of musical sources. The music I record usually is labeled jazz because of the amount of improvisation that is present. However, I do draw on a number of styles and experiences to influence my musical contributions."
Ferguson has also performed with a wide variety of well known jazz musicians including Don Friedman, Stefon Harris, Vanessa Rubin, Mel Lewis, Cecil Bridgewater, John Abercrombie, and Valery Ponomarev He has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe for over ten years. He has played with everything from duos to large ensembles including the famed "Vanguard Jazz Orchestra" and has been an Imaginary Records recording artist for many years making numerous recordings with the piano trio Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson for the label. He also produced and played on the new recording from the Don Friedman Quartet "My Foolish Heart" on Steeplechase and appears on the recently released "Is Love Enough" by vocalist Nanette Natal on Benyo Music. Ferguson brings a wealth of varied experiences to all of his performances. Bass world Magazine calls him a "fine bassist with a warm and woody tone whose solos are tasteful, balanced and never overplayed."
In addition to the co-leaders, the quartet features alto saxophonist David Bixler and drummer Jeff Brillinger. Bixler has played with Lionel Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Chico O'Farrill Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Johnny Coles and Harold Land in addition to being one of New York's busiest free-lance players. "What I like best about his playing," says Ferguson, "is his unique sense of phrasing and lyricism and his very open, big and honest sound." Jazz journalist Scott Yanow calls him a saxophonist with "an original tone and a harmonically advanced style".
Jeff Brillinger, who studied at the Berklee School of Music, is one of the most highly respected and sought after drummers on the New York scene. He has worked with a long list of the most famous names in jazz including Stan Getz, Horace Silver, Chet Baker, the Woody Herman big band, Tom Harrell, Don Friedman, Jackie & Roy, Jack McDuff, Ken Peplowski and Ron McClure. Dempsey says that Brillinger is "one of those drummers who has a way of giving the whole band a deep sense of swing. His time is perfect and he always makes me want to play."
In talking about the group and the music, Ferguson explains that "the music really falls between categories. It is not bebop, latin, hard bop or avant-garde, but it's informed by all of those styles and more. I call it modern classic jazz. We aren't trying to re-invent the wheel, we're simply trying to make a contribution to the music through our own individual voices."
The TD/TFQ offers a variety of sounds and textures from burning straight ahead playing to sensitive ballads and stunning collective improvisation. With their respective individual points of view coming together in this one project, the group offers the excitement and joy of fresh music from a new group with a promising future.