Greens and Blues is the second album from Chicago-based saxophonist Tom Gullion. We were only too pleased to have a a follow-up to his remarkable debut album with us, "Cat's Cradle", and to provide a home for his sinuous, melodic sax, guitar, double bass and drums quartet.
Featuring once again the enriching musical talent of John Moulder on guitar and bassist Rob Amster who provides a strong foundation throughout the recording, they are joined by drummer Steve Gillis, who has an amazing talent for responding to Tom's quirky rhythmic concepts.
Tom found the inspiration for Greens and Blues in his home city, the music being a tribute to Chicago. Though it bears similarity to the great ballad made famous by Miles Davis and Bill Evans, the album owes its title to the elevated trains which rattle around the city. All the music was composed or arranged whilst riding the "El" trains; either the Green or the Blue lines. You won't hear any obvious train related themes. Instead you'll hear impressions of the city passing by outside the windows of the train. The influences in Tom's music are from the New York and Chicago Jazz traditions of the 1950s and 60s. The inclusion of the electric guitar in the line-up, filling the space of the pianist, brings and unusual character to the quartet form. The guitar and saxophone, which weave melodically round each other in unison or tense harmony, serve to give the sound an appealingly angular edge.
Ken Christianson's recording meanwhile, from a pair of vintage AKG microphones direct to analogue tape in a sumptuous warm acoustic, suits the band and their sound perfectly. This is inventive, imaginative yet traditionally informed jazz at its best.