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Perspectives by Tom Dempsey / Tim Ferguson Quartet

Tom Dempsey and Tim Ferguson are longtime friends in the New York jazz community and they make their debut on their own album with well known local musicians, David Bixler and Jeff Brillinger. The quartet’s album, "Perspectives" has an autumnal New York City quality to it. Like how the light is uniquely refracted a certain way at this time of year where people and objects are crisply contrasted in an easy way, the music too captures that feeling of comfortable congeniality. Simply put, the music is sharp and clear and optimistic. It is intricately played amongst old buddies.

‘Just Chill’ is a playful, easy-going piece. It’s like a stroll through Central Park where couples are riding bikes, kids are trying to hop on the carousel, and readers on the benches are constantly sneaking a peek at the tide of people flowing by. There is energy in the piece that is light-hearted and relaxed. Dempsey’s guitar solo is soft-spoken, while Bixler plays the melody in a restrained, convivial manner.

‘Delia’s Samba’ sounds like the graceful flow of people swaying and moving to an unheard rhythm of a crowded sidewalk. Weekend street merchants are trying to sell their wares of scarves, copied DVDs and remnant electronic devices on the sidewalk in front of the bustling 99 cent stores. Pedestrians are drifting by. There is movement; there is an everyday samba on the street.

‘Vernazza’ is a slow and reflective as if one is recalling a sweet distant memory. There is wonderful interplay between Bixler’s alto and Dempsey’s guitar with an emotional undertow provided by Ferguson on bass. This piece is gorgeously lyrical and superbly played.

‘You Wait Here’ captures a whole different feel. This is joyful, playful, seemingly off-the-cuff piece that is like a pair of friends cruising along the street heading downtown for an evening of adventure. The glare of twilight quickly disintegrates into darkness. It has the tone of impending frolic.

Music typically concerns itself about varying states of mind and "Perspectives" reflects a New York state of mind.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Tom Dempsey / Tim Ferguson Quartet
  • CD Title: Perspectives
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Imaginary Records
  • Tracks: Minor League, Just Chill, Delia’s Samba, Vernazza, Perspectives, Swans, You Wait Here, The Look Within, East River Crossing
  • Musicians: Tom Dempsey (guitar), Tim Ferguson (bass), David Bixler (alto saxophone), Jeff Brillinger (drums)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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