TOM GEORGE TRIO
TWILIGHTTribute to Women Jazz Composers
TOM GEORGE TRIO
Mike Kaupa, trumpet
Ric Vice, bass
Tom George, piano
"feel-good music to the max that allows us to put away the confrontational, argumentative, acrimonious aspects of our current existence, only to realize that it is alright to be glad to be alive and share the feeling with others. We can only challenge these three musicians to create another album of this same sort. Can you hear me? Encore!"
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [July 2020]
"everything is suffused with a very pleasing crepuscular glow."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [July 2020]
"excellent jazz musicians, and obviously conversant with jazz styleThere is plenty of jazzy ornamentation of the melodies, of course, but the song’s original structures and proportions are left intact.Kaupa, as a jazz musician, plays these songs with the fluidity and color that they require. George is similarly adept, and Vice, though less prominent, contributes a stylistically appropriate underpinning throughout."
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare [May/June 2020]
"The label MSR has a jazz sublabel that is clearly of great stature... [on this] superb disc is the softly crooning trumpet/flugelhorn of Mike Kaupa, the solid foundation of Ric Vice’s double bass and the finely honed keyboard skills of Tom George on piano... Tom George’s solos have great inner life to them. Kaupa is a remarkably versatile instrumentalist; it is interesting to hear how he varies the amount of air around a note for expressive purposes (much as singers might make their voices smokier or more guttoral). Tom George is a versatile, imaginative pianist, and Ric Vice offers string bass lines. This is a superb line-up: The recording quality is everything one could want, close, involving, yet warm. Fine accompanying booklet notes seal the deal."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [May/June 2020]
"There is a wide range of moods captured on the disc, and the tracks are programmed in an order to guarantee variety... [the musicians] are very well attuned to each other and quite obviously having fun. On trumpet Mike Kaupa has the laid-back sultriness of Chet Baker, adding the edge of a low growl. Pianist Tom George has such a cultivated touch that I wasn’t surprised to read that he studied classical piano and organ...[his relaxed but assured rhythmic sense] speaks of his experience accompanying singers and choirs. His combination of cool and delicacy is very appealing. George has mastered a mellow swing that brings out the quiet vibrancy that marks much of this music. Clearly these women composers, whether well known or obscure, possessed talents that deserve the exposure given by these lovely performances. I enjoyed the disc immensely and would expect most listeners to have the same reaction. Clean, well-balanced sound and helpful notes round out the production."
Henry Fogel, Fanfare [March/April 2020]
PROGRAM NOTESJazz trumpeter Mike Kaupa has toured North America, Europe and Japan as a leader and member of several groups, including ONIX in Spain, Equinox in Lyon, Institute for Creative Music in the United States, Existing Reality in the United States and England, and most notably the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the United States, Canada and Japan. In Barcelona, he was on the faculty at the Taller de Músics school and from 2001 to 2005 was on faculty at the annual Seminario de Jazz in Barcelona. He also performed at the Palau de la Musica there. Mike was an interim instructor of jazz trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in the 1999- 2000 school year and in the spring of 2010. He recently performed at the Remembering Marian concert tribute to Marian McPartland at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He has been a guest artist with the Penn State University Jazz Ensemble, University of Oregon Jazz Ensemble, Fredonia Jazz Ensemble and New Jazz Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music. Among others, he has performed with Jorge Rossy, Ben Monder, Jon Faddis, Mark Murphy, Gary Bartz, Luciana Souza, Joe Locke, Mel Torme and Ray Charles, and with the Buffalo Philharmonic Pops and Rochester Philharmonic Pops. Mike, who holds music degrees from Fredonia State University and the University of Miami, is currently on the faculties of the Harley School, Finger Lakes Community College and Eastman Community Music School. Based in Rochester, New York, Mike maintains a busy schedule of teaching and performing.
Ric Vice is a free-lance bassist in the St. Louis region, where he has performed with Herb Ellis, Diana Krall, Jeff Clayton, Sheila Jordan, Oleta Adams, Rosanne Vitro and Rob McConnell. Ric performs regularly on the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University and in 2010 toured with Mary Wilson of the legendary Motown group, the Supremes. He has recorded with the Kim Portnoy Trio and songstress Feyza Eren. In December 2015, he had the privilege of performing with jazz vocalist Rosanne Vitro. Ric is also active as a first-call bassist in the St. Louis cabaret scene. He has worked with Rick Jensen and Steven Ray Watkins on different cabaret shows performed at the Kranzberg Arts Center. In 2015, he was featured as the house bassist for the St. Louis Cabaret Festival, presented at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Ric was the featured bassist at the 2018 Society for the Preservation and Advancement of Harmonica Convention, performing with Rob Papparizi, Philip Jers and a host of other top jazz and blues harmonica players.
Tom George is an accomplished jazz pianist and has performed extensively throughout the United States and overseas, both on solo keyboard and leading a combo. He has arranged and performed various programs and revues with cabaret singers and dancers, in music halls, local eateries and churches. Tom has also been a performer with bands as part of the Missouri Music Educators’ Association Annual Conference. In addition to many venues in Missouri, he has performed at Art in the Park in Belleville, Illinois; Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois; University of Arkansas; Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania; Nanjing University and Northwestern Polytechnical University in China; in Szeged, Hungary; West University of Timisoara in Romania; Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait; University of Sarajevo in Bosnia; University of Dubrovnik in Croatia; and Muscat Cultural Centre in Oman. He has also performed in Russian Siberia. Prior to taking up jazz, Tom studied classical piano for ten years, beginning at age six. He also trained as an organist, studying with Barbara Harbach, Herbert Springer and Eugene Belt, and playing for church services in the Philadelphia, New Haven and Boston areas. He has performed classical piano, participating in concerts and accompanying choirs. Tom studied with John Mehegan at the Juilliard School of Music, Barry Kiener of the Buddy Rich Band, and with faculty at the Berklee College of Music and the Eastman School of Music.
Recorded 24 June 2018 at Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall, University of Missouri-St. Louis. A Candlewood Digital high resolution Natural Presence™ recording: Produced, engineered, edited and mastered by Richard Price. Piano Technician: Gregory Winchell.
PROGRAMMARIAN MCPARTLAND: “Twilight World” | Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
DORIS FISHER: “Put the Blame on Mame” | Lyrics by Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts
BERNICE PETKERE: “Close Your Eyes”
MARY LOU WILLIAMS: “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?” | Written with J. Lawrence and P. Webster
DORIS TAUBER: “Them There Eyes” | Written with M. Pinkard and W. Tracey
CAROLE KING: “Go Away, Little Girl” | Composed w/ Gerry Goffin, Lyrics by Toni Stern
CAROLE KING: “It’s Too Late” | Composed w/ Gerry Goffin, Lyrics by Toni Stern
BARBARA BELLE and ANITA LEONARD “A Sunday Kind of Love” | Written w/ Prima-Rhodes
BILLIE HOLIDAY: “Fine and Mellow”
KAY SWIFT: “Fine and Dandy”
DOLORES “VICKI” SILVERS: “Learnin’ the Blues”
JOAN WHITNEY: “Candy” | Written with Mack David and Alex Kramer
IRENE HIGGINBOTHAM: “Good Morning Heartache” | Written with Dan Fisher and Ervin Drake
PHOEBE KNAPP: “Blessed Assurance” | Lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby