Tom & Gerry introduced German virtuoso synthesizer player Thomas Lehn to the non-European improv fans, his previous recordings being available only on small German labels in limited pressings. Lehn's chirps, dweeps, and blips originating from a VCS-3 surprised many listeners, thanks to the man's quickness, listening level, and sense of the odd. And what better way to be introduced to the North American continent than by recording with drummer Gerry Hemingway.
First of all, let it be said that Tom & Gerry has nothing to do with cartoon music, apart from the title's pun. This two-CD set has been put together from Lehn's recordings of the duo's German tour in late May, early June 1997. Each musician gets lots of room to shine (Hemingway's solo at the beginning of "W7" is as good as it gets) and the whole album has been edited in order to maintain a high energy level throughout. Disc one ends the same way it started, with bowed cymbals, communicating a sense of completeness, but on disc two the listener discovers more aspects of the duo's palette (like on "D5.4" where Lehn uses a more violent attack). Tom & Gerry is a valuable album as much for the performances it documents as for the amount of thought that has been put into the editing process.