Half Notes: Tom Tallitsch – Heads Or Tales (2012)

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photos courtesy of Posi-Tone Records

Saxophonist, composer, musical educator, and radio show host Tom Tallitsch keeps busy wearing a variety of hats all revolving around his love of music and the love of sharing his knowledge about it to others. Every couple of years since 2005, he’s been sharing music by making a record, and this week he does so again for the forth time with the issuance of his latest album, Heads Or Tales. His first with Posi-Tone Records, Tallitsch taps into the talents of Posi-Tone stalwarts Mark Ferber (drums) and Jared Gold (organ), as well as up and coming swing specialist Dave Allen (guitar). Don’t be fooled by the line-up, this isn’t a Jimmy Smith/Stanley Turrentine type greasy soul-jazz record; Tallitsch leads this quartet through his eight originals and one cover in a hard bop and advanced bop state of mind, and Gold is the right organist to bring in for such a session. Tunes like “Coming Around” (live video below) and “Double Shot” are uptempo burners that bring out the fire of the participants, while “Perry’s Place” is the best among the gentle numbers, a good spot for Tallitsch’s sensitive Henderson/Shorter sax dialect to express itself. Tallitsch also turns Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” from a downbeat folk tune to a blues-inflected nocturnal ballad while keeping with the solemn mood of Young’s intent.

Heads Or Tales is slated for release April 17, from Posi-Tone Records. Visit Tom Tallitsch’s website.

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