Tani Tabbal Trio – Now Then

Tani Tabbal Trio – Now Then

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[TAO03] - CD in 4-panel digipak with original art & design by a woman of strong vision wisdom. Liner notes written by an also illuminated man.  


Tani Tabbal: drums
Michael Bisio: bass
Adam Siegel: alto saxophone

Now Then, by Tani Tabbal Trio, is the vital third release on Tao Forms, and we are honored to present this brand new work from the master drummer-percussionist. Tani Tabbal is known for his extensive performing and recording career with Roscoe Mitchell, Sun Ra, Geri Allen, James Carter, David Murray, and Faruq Z. Bey / Griot Galaxy. Following a series of self-released recordings over the past decade (including two by this trio), Now Then is his first widely distributed work as a leader.

Tabbal—who came of age on Detroit’s fertile jazz scene—has always looked for colleagues with fresh ideas, big ears, and adventurous souls. He found them again in veteran bassist Michael Bisio and next generation alto saxophonist Adam Siegel. Now Then is an exceptional album of charismatic communications by three musicians who breathe as one. The compositions—six by Tabbal, four by Bisio—define specific materials and moods that the trio develops with patience and a subtle variety of textures and dynamics. Melodic riches abound, wielded with both controlled fire & giving tenderness, while the joy of prolific communication and illuminated creation permeates the album. It’s a beauty!

> a brief Tani Tabbal biography >

Born in Chicago, Tabbal began playing drums professionally as a teen, with Oscar Brown Jr., Kelan Phil Cohran, and Sun Ra and his Arkestra. With family also in Detroit and New York, Tabbal grew up feeling at home in all three cities, but he settled in Detroit in the late 70s. The city —whose jazz legacy includes Barry Harris, Kenny Burrell, Yusef Lateef, the Jones Brothers (Hank, Thad, and Elvin), Kenny Garrett, Regina Carter and dozens of others— was like finishing school.

Detroit nurtured Tabbal’s versality and craftsmanship in myriad idioms, from the swinging mainstream to funk, fusion, and free jazz. He also got a chance to work with traveling stars like alto saxophonist Jackie McLean. Tabbal’s most defining association in the city was with Griot Galaxy, a wild and wooly avant-garde quintet led by Faruq Z Bey, a saxophonist and Afrofuturist philosopher.

Tabbal and bassist Jaribu Shahid forged a profound bond in the Griot Galaxy. The pair would later record Open on All Sides and Twylight with the influential Detroit pianist Geri Allen; tour widely with saxophone prodigy James Carter’s first working group (together with Craig Taborn on piano); and work on and off for 40 years with legendary saxophonist and composer Roscoe Mitchell of Chicago’s AACM. Tabbal has made 13 recordings with Mitchell. His extensive discography also includes albums with David Murray, Steve Coleman, Evan Parker, and Sun Ra.

Tani Tabbal now happily resides in New York State, and is as excited as all other performing artists to play on stage again with this Trio just as soon as can be (as are we exceptionally stoked to bear witness to when..)..

1. Arrested Confusion 04:11
2. Just Woke Up 08:51
3. Khusenaton 05:47
4. Sun History Ra Mystery 06:21
5. Now Then 07:39
6. Midway Open 06:43
7. Oh See OC Revisited 09:22
8. Scrunch 05:54
9. r. henri 06:52
10. Inky Bud 05:55

All compositions by Tani Tabbal, © Tani Tabbal (BMI)
except 1-4-7-9 by Michael Bisio, © AMB Music (ASCAP)

Produced by Tani Tabbal & Michael Bisio
Executive Producer: Whit Dickey
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Jim Clouse
at Park West Studios, Brooklyn
Liner notes: Michael Bisio
Design & original art: Susanna Ronner Graphic Design