Link to home page : Tom Djll
Biography:Tom Djll studied music at Berklee School of Music, the Colorado College, the Creative Music Studio, and Mills College's Center for Contemporary Music. Teachers include Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Karl Berger, Lester Bowie, Leo Smith, George Lewis, Pauline Oliveros, and Alvin Curran. He is the recipient of a 'Deeploma' from the Deep Listening Organization as well as a Masters degree in Electronic Music from Mills College, where he was also awarded the Paul Merritt Henry Prize for Composition. Tom has led improvising workshops in California and New Mexico and in 2004 completed a monthlong residency at Mills, focusing on extended techniques. In 2007 Tom was featured in the film Noisy People, a document of the San Francisco Bay Area experimental music scene. 2003 and 2008 saw stagings of Mockracy, for co-operative orchestra, actors, electronics and live video.
Tom has spent over twenty years developing the trumpet’s extended techniques. His musical language incorporates complex noises and gritty, unheard textures from electronica and asymmetrical, often rude formal structures. Tom has made a lifelong study of the art of improvised music, and has been actively performing since 1980. He has performed with Gino Robair, Gianni Gebbia, John Butcher, Steve Adams, Tom Nunn, Eugene Chadbourne, Natsuki Tamura, Andrew Voigt, Biggi Vinkeloe, Frank Gratkowski, Lę Quan Ninh, Chris Brown, Ignaz Schick, Fred Frith, The Splatter Trio, Gail Brand, Wolfgang Fuchs, William Winant, Toshi Makihara, Jon Raskin, Phillip Greenlief, Pauline Oliveros, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, nmperign, Jack Wright, Miya Masaoka, Luc Houtkamp, Tatsuya Nakatani, and too many others to list.
Tom appears on recordings on Emanem, Tzadik, Creative Sources, Rastascan, Spring Garden, Limited sEdition, Artifact, and his own Soul On Rice label. Tom also writes about music for The Wire, Signal To Noise, Sequenza21, Bagatellen, Musicworks, One Final Note, and the Transbay Calendar.
"An acknowledged innovator in the use of extended split-tone techniques and multiphonics on trumpet, Djll comes across on stage as something of a trickster, a canny manipulator of sounds-you-never-expected-to-hear-on-a-trumpet, a magician who uses valves and breath rather than smoke and mirrors." - JazzCorner.com
"...the music is intensely quiet, with instrumental sounds approaching room ambience. Dropping into sustained quietness like this requires great trust between the collaborating improvisers, with the opportunity to take the lead — and the danger of ruining the music — never closer. It is one of the highest states of improvised music." - East Bay Express (writing about Grosse Abfahrt's VANITY)
New Projects On Bandcamp
SPACE JUNK - jazz trio with Phillip Greenlief and Jordan Glenn
KINDA GREEN - duo with Tim Perkis
SPECTRAL PARADE - hyper piano music
Excerpts from the 2008 instigation of MOCKRACY, with Rova Sax Quartet, Ava Mendoza, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls, Tara Flandreau, Jen Baker, Liz Allbee, Gene Baker, Thomas Scandura, Tim Perkis, Aurora Josephson, and hundreds more
SKRMISHES - hyper piano music
Somewhat Recent Releases on CD
Grosse Abfahrt: VANITY - Emanem #5007 Grosse Abfahrt is the name I gave the project on the occasion of its first recording. In German, it means 'great departure'. The project is to take a core group of Bay Area musicians and put them together with out of town guests. Always free improvisation. This recording marks the third documentation of the project. The usual quintet of tighter-than-air Bay Area music makers (see below), plus cellist Theresa Wong, contrebassist David Chiesa, and violinist/violist Matthieu Werchowski. Recorded live at 21Grand Gallery, April 2008.
Grosse Abfahrt - everything that disappears Emanem 4146 Wide-ranging, long-structure improvisations by a nonet consisting of John Bischoff, Frederic Blondy, George Cremaschi, Tom Djll, Matt Ingalls, Le Quan Ninh, Tim Perkis, Gino Robair, and John Shiurba. The handsome jacket features photos by Dill Pixels.
Not quite so recent releases
Grosse Abfahrt - Erstes Luftschiffe Zu Kalifornien - Recorded in 2004, this lighter-than-air octet is comprised of Boris Baltschun and Serge Baghdassarians from Germany, and Bay Area mofos Gino Robair, Chris Brown, John Shiurba, Tim Perkis, Matt Ingalls, and Djll. 47-something minutes of stretched-outness, available from Creative Sources (Portugal) and online at squidco, metamkine, minimamedia, fonoteca, and diapazon.
"One of the best discs you're likely to hear this year." -- Paris Transatlantic
Releases from earlier in the millenium
Bellerophone - Trumpet Solo Music. In which the history of brass playing is not lightly "deconstructed" but wholeheartedly eviscerated. (SRPD 02) Review here.
SMUDGE - Once was trumpet and some other sounds - like the sound of a contact mic being dragged over a plasticized 3-d mousepad surface - but emerges sounding more like an albatross'-ear-view of the inside of a jet turbine. Coffee, tea, or dB? (SRPD 03) Review here.
Road Signs - Documetations of bits of two tours with saxophone guru Jack Wright in 2002 and 2005. Two trios with another sax maven, Bhob Rainey; one longer trio with percussionist/noisician Tim Feeney. Recorded in Boston and Rochester, NY. Since both Rainey and Feeney are from Boston, I almost called this one "Boston Has Beens," but, thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. (SRPD 04)
"...the emotional range and sound palette are astonishingly wide-ranging, and flavoured with a keen sense of humour, too. Essential listening for anyone following the micro-micro end of the current improv scene. Nate Dorward, CADENCE another review here
"TREE PIECES" compositions by Wendy Reid. Brassiosaurus plays Tree Piece #52 for trumpet, trombones, tuba and voice.
"SIX FUCHS" improvisations by Wolfgang Fuchs, Gino Robair, Matthew Sperry, John Shiurba, Tim Perkis, and Djll - Rastascan BRD052 Read a review at All About Jazz.
Address: Albany, CA
CDs on which Tom Djll appears: