Tom Tallitsch
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Tom Tallitsch


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"Medicine Man - All About Jazz"

By John Barron AAJ
Philadelphia has always been something of a breeding ground for tenor saxophonists—John Coltrane, Benny Golson and Archie Shepp to name a few. Adding to the city�s rich jazz heritage is saxophonist/composer Tom Tallitsch who, although an Ohio native, has established himself as a revered member of the Philly scene. Medicine Man, Tallitsch�s second release as a leader, is a soulful collection of original mainstream jazz, featuring an expansive quintet, rounded off by vibraphone, guitar, bass and drums

Tallitsch blows his tenor with confidence, at times hearkening the vibrancy of Joe Henderson, all the while showcasing an artistic voice, curious and exploring. Not one to waste notes, Tallitsch maintains strong melodic sensibilities during soft-spoken ballads (�Yellow�), up-tempo explorations (�Three Flights Down�) and soulful excursions (�Ceasefire�).

Sharing the solo spotlight with Tallitsch is guitarist Victor Baker and vibraphonist Tony Miceli. Baker�s lyrical lines, most notably on �Yellow� and �La Tortuga,� are highly original, and refreshingly void of typical guitar trappings. The dynamic guitarist also demonstrates a piano-like approach to comping that is sparse and convincing. Miceli solos with rapid-fire execution (�Three Flights Down�) and a determination to keep things swinging (�Good Friday�).

Drummer Dan Monaghan plays with an explosive edge, dropping unexpected flourishes of sound over sensible time-keeping. Bassist Paul Gehman lays a solid foundation with a punchy, rounded tone. The drum and bass double-time groove against Tallitsch�s laid-back lines on the disc�s closer �Three Flights Down (Reprise),� is a powerful show-stopper.

With Medicine Man Tallitsch demonstrates his potential to stand above the innumerable tenor saxophone sound-a-likes plaguing the jazz scene. With the aid of his like-minded musical brothers, he has produced a clever, stimulating session. - All About Jazz 2/19/08

"Tom Tallitsch - Duality"

Tom Tallitsch keeps things on an even keel and uncomplicated with his new CD Duality. The only instruments that you hear on the entire recording are the tenor saxophone of Tallitsch and the acoustic guitar of Dave Manley. Thus, the title Duality sums up what this album is. Even without words, the title implies that there is some duality in everyday life; at least it did for me when I stopped to think about what other meaning it could have related to the music and our human tendencies.

Tallitsch gives 50% of his own compositions then the rest are dedicated to some heavyweights in the world of music, such as Wayne Shorter and Stevie Wonder. Not bad company to keep that is for sure. Shorter and Wonder are worlds apart yet the artist does manage to make the connection to his own realm and visions in a musical sense by interpreting the honored musicians compositions with doses of smooth jazz that melt away the tension of a hard day away in an instant. This is music to relax in front of warm fire with or just to kick back and empty your mind and let the soulfulness of each note permeate your being; it is wonderful if you can let it happen.

This was a very enjoyable CD and its smooth sailing all the way from the beginning of the journey until the end. I realize that the simplification of complex music is not easy to execute and Tallitsch does a nice job of taking each composition and stripping it down to its bare bones, no bass, percussion, or keyboards are used, and giving you a great listening experience through some nice sax and guitar playing. Although the music you will hear is simplistic, it is full-bodied and played with sensitivity to the original versions of tracks while equal attention is paid to the detail and ambiance, this factor also applies to the four original tracks. The guitar and sax unify their sound with colorful give and take interplay, at times prolifically, making it very apparent that they were the only two instruments needed for this recording. Although the word Duality means that there are two sides to the coin, or another dimension right alongside the one we are in-there was one consistent element that made this a strong presentation, the consistency displayed in every track.

Tracks: Big Sky, Propellerhead, Falling Grace, Visions, Coming Around, Lulu's Back In Town, Infant Eyes, Mablestates

Artist's Website:

Reviewed by: Keith 'MuzikMan' Hannaleck -

"Tom Tallitsch - Medicine Man (OA2 22042)"

A mainstay in Philadelphia jazz clubs for over a decade, composer and tenor saxophonist Tom Tallitsch presents the first recording of his quintet - a forward looking yet mainstream grouping of some of Philly's finest musicians. Performing articulate, modern jazz, Tallitsch's band explores alternate sonorities with its vibes and guitar led rhythm section, slightly reminiscent of Gary Burton's groups of the '70s. With Tony Miceli (vibraphone), Victor Baker (guitar), Paul Gehman (bass) and Dan Monaghan (drums). - City Hall Records Catalog

"Medicine Man - ejazz news"

This album is difficult to classify as to genre. It is not jazz as we
know it, as it lacks the swinging quality of the straight ahead mode,
however, the players are first rate.

"Three Flights Down" is a flight of fancy for Tallitsch as he solos in
the fast lane.
He shows dexterity and the ability to maneuver over his horn in fine

I was not able to do this recording justice as it is not in my fund of
expertise, as it were. This album is one that the proponents of 'free
jazz' and esoterica will appreciate.

It is apparent that these musicians are of the highest quality in the
message they are presenting.
4 Stars - John Gilbert - ejazznews

"Tom Tallitsch - Duality (Cadence Magazine)"

Jim Santella October 2006 Page.123 "Tenor saxophone and guitar: the blend comes with built-in spaces and a wide tonal range that centers on melody. The duo of Tom Tallitsch and Dave Manley ensures that each interpretation contains warmth, reflective asides, and a gentle attack..." - Cadence Magazine


Tom Tallitsch - Medicine Man (2/19/08 OA2 Records)

Tom Tallitsch - Duality (2005)



Tenor saxophonist and composer, Tom Tallitsch currently lives in the Philadelphia area where he maintains a rigorous performance schedule as a leader and sideman. Since his arrival in 1996, he has established himself on the Philly jazz scene and has played with many of the area's top musicians. His ensembles have regularly performed at such jazz clubs and festivals as Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus, Chris’ Jazz Café, Zanzibar Blue, Mellon Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz Fest and more.

The self release album Duality (11/05) marked Tom’s debut as a recorded leader, and features guitarist Dave Manley in an intimate duo setting. It received fantastic critical reviews and is on jazz play lists throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. He has performed live broadcasts and interviews on Philadelphia’s WRTI Temple public radio.

Tom's second album 'Medicine Man' was released 2/19/08 on Origin/OA2 Records, featuring Philadelphia musicians, Tony Miceli (vibraphone), Victor Baker (guitar) , Paul Gehman (bass) , and Dan Monaghan (drums). It has received critical acclaim and is on radio playlists throughout the United States and abroad. During Medicine Man's first month after it's release, it rose up the Jazz Week Radio Charts from to #107 in the United States. It is currently on radio and internet playlists throughout the world. On December 2nd, 2008

Tom's composition 'Yellow' will be featured in the 2008 IFP Gotham Film Awards in NYC.

In addition to having his compositions and arrangements played by vocalists and musicians throughout Philadelphia, Tom has had his works performed by individual dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company at various choreographer showcase venues.

Beginning in Autumn 2008 he will be hosting his own jazz radio show titled "Modern Jazz With Tom Tallitsch", on the newly formed Mercer County Jazz Station WWFM 89.1 HD2. The show will feature Tom's own personal jazz picks and commentary, and will air every Thursday evening from 8:00 to 10:00 pm.

Tom is originally from Cleveland, Ohio where he began his musical training on the piano, clarinet and saxophone. He has a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and has participated in clinics with Joe Henderson and Chris Potter. He has studied with saxophonists Rick VanMatre, Ernie Krivda, Mike Lee, and Ben Schachter, as well as pianist Phil DeGreg.