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Tom Gullion

Saxophonist Tom Gullion, originally from Indianapolis, is continuing the rich legacy of Indianapolis jazz musicians such as J.J. Johnson, David Baker, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton. Following in this tradition, Gullion was an obvious choice when the great trombonist J.J. Johnson put together a new quintet in 1988. Gullion, then a mere 22 years old and still studying at Indiana University, joined the group, along with Cedar Walton, Rufus Reid and Victor Lewis. After several successful tours within the United States, Gullion decided to delay his professional career and finish his studies with David Baker at I.U.

After getting his degree with performance honors, Gullion moved to New York. New York turned out to be a good learning experience, and while living there he played and recorded with Rufus Reid, Joel Weiskopf and a host of other young musicians. But soon after Gullion arrived in New York, his wife, a violinist, landed a job with a symphony orchestra in Europe and they moved to La Coruna, Spain.

Gullion didn't let this transatlantic move stop him. Instead, he immediately hooked up with one of the finest rhythm sections in Spain and started touring throughout the country. Over the course of two years, the relaxed lifestyle in Spain afforded Gullion the opportunity to practice between six and eight hours a day.

Gullion also worked and recorded with the Baldo Martinez Quartet, a piano-less avant garde ensemble, and the Tom Gullion Trio. As Gullion puts it: "The beauty of this piano-less format is that the harmonic and rhythmic possibilities of the music are opened up. But, at the same time, you have to shoulder more responsibility for everything you play. You really note the fine line between art and chaos!"

Since moving to Chicago in July of 1995, Gullion has quickly established himself in the jazz scene. The current quartet includes Gullion (tenor and soprano saxophones), John Moulder (guitar), Rob Amster (bass) and Paul Wertico(drums). This group has recorded "Cat's Cradle",which includes Coltrane's "Wise One", a unique arrangement of "Invitation" and the rest of the music was penned by Gullion.

A signature trait of Gullion's performances, as noted by many jazz critics, is his communication with the rest of the group. He performs as an equal partner with the rest of the players and Gullion's groups typically evoke a feeling similar to the Bill Evans or John Abercrombie groups.