Tom & Lee Vol. 2

by Tom & Lee

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Kevin Sun Tom and Levon have a way of playing together that feels like you’re in the living room with them hearing a private concert—conversational, sincere, unpretentious. There’s a loose, free associative quality to the music on the EP, and it’s fun to hear how they stretch out on the classic ballads “Moonlight in Vermont” and “Sophisticated Lady.” Silky but burly tenor playing by Levon (not to mention bass clarinet and surprise shaker) and anti-flashy, warm and unhurried playing by Tom.
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A follow up to woodwind-guitar duo Tom & Lee’s 2018 self-titled debut EP, “Tom & Lee Vol. 2” picks up where its predecessor left off, delivering the same intimate, rollicking charm—and gives a bit more. With one original and four expansive covers of classic American Songbook tunes, it feels almost like a ballad album. It begins with a folky melody entitled “Tom & Lee Theme” which devolves into a free form modal improvisation. The classic jazz tunes “Moonlight in Vermont” and “Sophisticated Lady” (by Duke Ellington) are rendered at dreamy ballad tempos in which the duo explores every nook and cranny of these classic standards. Sometimes with wild abandon, and at others with more experimental flourishes, these old gems are re-imagined through a fresh lens. Multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Julian Cubillos mastered the tracks and features on electric bass for the duo’s slide-guitar-infused rendition of Stevie Wonder’s gospelish “Evil”. The EP finishes with a subliminal, phantasmagorical reading of the old show tune “I’ll Be Seeing You”, with the guitar—bathed in electronic effects—setting a warped, ass-backward ambiance of drones and loops which render the tenor saxophone’s weeping melody in a minor key, as opposed to the tunes original bright, major mood.


released January 22, 2020

1. Tom & Lee Theme (Csatari/Henry)
2. Moonlight In Vermont (Karl Suessdorf)
3. Evil ft. Julian Cubillos (Stevie Wonder)
4. Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington)
5. I'll Be Seeing You (Sammy Fain)

Tom Csatari - hollowbody electric guitar, effects, slide
"There is a contradictory feeling in Mr. Csatari’s playing — organized dissonance, loose concision, meticulous roughness — which makes it special.” (The New York Times)

Levon Henry - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, egg shaker
"a new talent on saxophone" (Bob Boilen, NPR)

Julian Cubillos - Danelectro electric bass, mastering
Recorded live @ 77 Linden in Lefferts, Brooklyn, August 2017.

Photo by Joanna Sternberg @ The Jalopy Tavern, August 2018.
Text by Tom & Lee.


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Tom & Lee New York

A spirited duo that splits the difference between the folk and jazz genres, exploring the nooks of old American songs as well as new explorative original songs inspired by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Bob Dylan, Thelonious Monk, John Fahey and Duke Ellington — all the while maintaining a spirit of risk and adventure. ... more

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