All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Tom Lawton

Tom Lawton Tom Lawton

Tom Lawton grew up in Arcola, PA and attended Methacton High School (remarkable only in that I attended the same school at that time), where he was a brilliant, but chronically truant student. He displayed great promise as a classical pianist, dabbled in British Rock and Roll, and eventually fell into Jazz. He was abbetted in his early education by Philly legend Gerald Price, who gave Tom his early pointers in the art.

He later began studies in Philadelphia with renowned pianist Bernard Peiffer, who had emigrated here from France. After Bernard's death, Tom began a long association with the late bassist Al Stauffer, who had accompanied M. Peiffer for several years.

Tom and Al were once among Philly's most visible proponents of free improvisation and were often seen at the Painted Bride and Khyber Pass back when those venues still supported the style. In ensuing years, they were seen playing more subdued (but no less creative) jazz styles at the Fountain Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel. Tom now just subs at the Four Seasons, but can be seen frequently at Chris' Jazz Cafe. He teaches at Bucks Community College, and is considered by many to be one of Philadelphia's brightest undiscovered talents. His playing is awe-inspiring. Tom defines “two handed” piano playing. In his younger years he destroyed a number of pianos at our high school. His power is now slightly more well-controlled.


Tags

”Philadelphia pianist Tom Lawton has been piling up the pieces on 'Retrospective/Debut' for a while...as well as honing a formidably two-handed approach to the piano that slips easily between mainstream and more outside styles. Recorded over three days, this double-CD set is almost too much music to handle, packed full of ambitious, unconventional charts and committed playing. Even when the music is in a mainstream Jazz idiom, Lawton’s interest in the long form ensures it’s never business-as-usual: these are some of the most elaborate heads on record since Mingus wrote 'Sue’s Changes.' These structures demand a lot of the musicians, and of the listener too...though repeated listening helps make things clearer

Read more

Photos

Albums

Album On Point by Norman David

On Point

CoolCraft
2020

buy
Album Drive by Michelle Lordi

Drive

Self Produced
2015

buy
Album Michelle Lordi Sings by Michelle Lordi

Michelle Lordi Sings

Self Produced
2014

buy
Album At This Time by Norman David

At This Time

CoolCraft
2011

buy
Album Retrospective/Debut by Tom Lawton

Retrospective/Debut

Dreambox Media
2004

buy
Tuesday Overture

Tuesday Overture

Tom Lawton
At This Time

Cameo

Cameo

Tom Lawton
Retrospective/Debut

Watch

Similar

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.