Ian Toms
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Ian Toms

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF
Band Jazz Jazz


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Doug Gallant's review of OPEN"

One of the best things about summer nights in downtown Charlottetown for the past several years has been the jazz series on Victoria Row.

Night after night, Islanders and visitors dining or socializing on the row have been treated to an ambrosial mix of jazz standards and more contemporary fare served up by a stellar crop of young jazz players, many of whom are Islanders who have passed through the jazz program at Montreal’s McGill University.

Those of us who make the row part of our summer routine have watched the musical growth of these players with a combination of interest and admiration.

One of the players who has helped to generate that interest is jazz guitarist Ian Toms.

If you want to know why listen to Toms’ debut album, Open.

Recorded as part of his masters thesis for McGill, Open showcases Toms’ talents as a player and as a composer with a set of seven original pieces that reflect both a diversity of influences and his own versatility.

Toms is an exceedingly fine player, fluid, very tasteful and adventurous without being showy.

He comes across on this indy release as a very economical player in the sense that he puts a lot out there but seldom, if ever, wastes a note.

In short, Open is all wheat, no chaff.

Toms, who’ll officially launch this record Saturday afternoon at the P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival, was joined in the studio for this set by several close musical friends, including baritone sax player Paul Nedzela, vocalist Julian Humphreys, keyboard virtuoso Vanessa Rodrigues, bass player Miles Perkin and drummer Richard Knox, another Victoria Row regular.

It’s a very fine first effort for Toms, hopefully just the first of many.

Prime tracks include Walter, Song for Krantz, The Chase and Traces. - The Guardian newspaper -- July 7, 2006

"Fiery Jazz Quintet lights up Victoria's Stage"

...I was initially dumbfounded, and continually astounded throughout the entire evening's performance, by the mystifying work of Toms on guitar.

After hearing his first solo, in fact, I basically thought that I could just leave at that point, and I would have felt like it was all worth the drive and my time to come there, if only to hear that.

At times, Toms appears as if he is hardly thinking about what he is doing at all -- his hands graze across the fretboard as if the neck is a smooth stick of butter, as they just nudge at various parts of it, always ringing out the perfect chord wherever they sit.

And when it is time for him to solo, he immediately brings the audience into his own personal locale. He is always the deep breath and sigh of the song -- the quiet story time -- when the listener seems to fall down this rabbit hole into his very cool and interesting land...
- Todd MacLean, The Guardian newspaper -- August 26, 2005

"Indiepro Review"

Ian Toms has an exceedingly smooth and clean style, offering warm melodies and a fluid, laid-back vibe.
- indiepro.com, Oct 7, 2006


As a leader:

PLAYBOOK (2012) - 2x Music PEI nominee, ECMA nominee
OPEN (2006) - 2x Music PEI winner, ECMA nominee

As a sideman:

Glen Strickey -Roots for Rudy (2010) - Music PEI winner, ECMA nominee
Native Gumbo - Native Gumbo (2010) - ECMA nominee
Teresa Doyle - Late Nite Parlour (2008) - Music PEI winner
John Connolly - John Connolly (2008) - 3x Music PEI winner
Meghan Blanchard - Changing Things (2008) - 4x Music PEI winner, 2x ECMA nominee
Stephane Bouchard - L'Opus du Petit Prince (2008) - Music PEI nominee
Elephant Rock - Well Oiled II (compilation, 2007)
Sonny Caulfield - Sonny sings the Selkirk (2006) - Music PEI nominee
Kate Bevan-Baker - Snapshot (2006) - Music PEI nominee



"...I was initially dumbfounded, and
continually astounded throughout the
entire evening's performance, by the
mystifying work of Toms on guitar...”

-The Guardian, Charlottetown, PE

Guitarist Ian Toms is a Prince Edward Island based musician who has been writing and playing jazz music for the past fifteen years. With a smooth and full sound, his approach to the instrument fits somewhere between Grant Green, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, and Lenny Breau.

A graduate of McGill's Masters in Jazz Studies program, Ian spent six years studying and playing with Montreal’s top jazz musicians, including Joe Sullivan, André White, and Gordon Foote. In early 2005, Ian decided to move back to PEI and pursue his musical career from his hometown of Charlottetown.

Critics have described Ian as an "exceedingly fine player, fluid, very tasteful, and adventurous without being showy". Over the past ten years, Ian has performed over four hundred shows and has played with many jazz heavyweights including Phil Woods, Kevin Dean, Pat Labarbera, Christine Jensen, and the late, great Doug Riley.

OPEN, Ian’s first album as a leader, was officially launched on the mainstage at the 2006 PEI Jazz and Blues Festival. The seven original tunes on the album range in texture from Kenny Wheeler-esque to straight-ahead organ quartet, with a solo piece and a vocal number thrown in for good measure. OPEN features several of Canada’s top young jazz musicians including organist Vanessa Rodrigues, bassist Miles Perkin, baritone saxophinst Paul Nedzela, singer Julian Humphreys, and fellow Islander and drummer Richard Knox.

OPEN won Blues/Jazz Recording of the Year and Instrumental Recording of the Year at the 2006 PEI Music Awards. The album was also nominated for an East Coast Music Awards for Jazz Recording of the Year.

Band Members