In the liner notes for Global Standard Time, critic Willard Jenkins describes Tom Teasley's approach as "old wine/new bottles" -- the "old wine" are overdone standards like Duke Ellington's "Caravan" and Thelonious Monk's "Well, You Needn't," and the "new bottles" are the percussionist/vibist's fresh-sounding interpretations. This sets Teasley apart from the numerous "Young Lions" who were offering an "old wine/old bottles" approach in the 1990s -- when a 20-year-old Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis or John Coltrane clone came along and insisted on playing the same old standards exactly like they were played 30, 40, and 50 years earlier, one knew that acoustic mainstream jazz was becoming an increasingly predictable repertory music. But Teasley doesn't treat standards like museum pieces; he isn't afraid to play around with a familiar melody or play it using a variety of African, Middle Eastern, Latin, and Asian instruments. On Global Standard Time, Teasley's third album as a leader, traditional jazz instruments like the guitar and the trombone are heard alongside the Japanese bansuri flute, African udu drums, maracas, and other ethnic instruments. Playing jazz with ethnic instruments is hardly unprecedented -- world music has inspired everyone from Yusef Lateef and McCoy Tyner to Weather Report (one of Teasley's influences). But even so, it isn't a concept that has been run into the ground, and it still had endless possibilities in the late '90s. For those seeking something fresh from jazz, Global Standard Time would be a wise investment.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson