Tom Teasley

Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song

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While much of Tom Teasley's work has been instrumental, Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song is a session that he co-led with vocalist/poet Charles Williams. Teasley is primarily a jazz artist, but most of this album isn't jazz so much as poetry and prose set to world music. The CD's most jazz-minded selections include "Peace" (which unites the famous Horace Silver melody with Langston Hughes' poem "I Dream a World") and "A Child Is Born" (which combines Thad Jones' melody with the poem "The Cry"). Williams is heard as a singer on the traditional Jewish song "Hine Matov," but more often than not, this album finds him in the role of poet or narrator -- and the material he brings a lot of confidence to ranges from the Hughes poems "I've Known Rivers" and "Dancer" to James Weldon Johnson's "The Creation." The multi-faceted Teasley, meanwhile, uses a variety of instruments to accompany Williams, including vibes, the kalimba, maracas, the tambourine, and African udu drums. Poetry, Prose, Percussion and Song is quite different from Time Travel or Global Standard Time -- both of which are jazz albums first and foremost -- and it's also fairly rewarding.