It might seem strange that a composer as original as Tom Harrell would throw himself into the melodies of dead French impressionists, but he’s done far more than write “jazz” arrangements of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. While staying true to the melodic roots of the music, he’s effectively re-composed these pieces.
All of the musicians in Tom’s Chamber Ensemble—not just his core working group, but the ‘hired guns’ brought in for these arrangements— clearly revere Tom. They love playing this music, even though—well, probably because—the jazz/classical fusion requires outsize talent and technical skill. We noticed that many of the performers set down their own personal digital recorders on their stands or at their feet to keep their own record of that night’s gig.
Tom Harrell’s official website