Tom Hemby - In The Moment

Grammy-award winner, guitarist, producer and songwriter Tom Hemby collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry for his third solo album, In The Moment (release date: March 2,2010). With a core rhythm section featuring drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank. Zappa, Sting, Joni Mitchell) and bassist Nathan East (Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Stevie Wonder), the Nashville veteran has recorded fourteen songs that spotlight his contemporary jazz sound, instrumental prowess and signature arrangements.

In The Moment features a very special tribute to the international charity, Habitat for Humanity, titled "Can I Count On You." Written by Robbie Nevil, this recording features such luminaries as Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Bill Champlin, Christopher Cross, American Idol's Mandisa and Melinda Doolittle.

"From the beginning, I wanted this project to be more than just another collection of songs?, says Hemby. "It became my wish to do something to make a difference in the world. So, to help raise awareness for the less fortunate and homeless through Habitat for Humanity, I thought of this particular song. It's got a great groove and fiery energy, and the lyrics have a message dealing with the human struggle. My dear mend and legendary producer, Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Whitney Houston, "We Are The World"), helped round up this all-star cast. So, can I count on YOU to help the many misfortunate people in the world that deserve to have a roof over their heads?"

A portion of each album sold will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.

Another standout song is "Here & There". Says Hemby, "My ear has always bent towards the out-of-the¬norm, whether it's a different harmonic progression, an odd meter, an unusual melody or a different arrangement or sequence of notes in a solo. I incorporated all those different elements here. It starts with a mysterious sounding synth that melts into a bed of odd-metered percussion, 11/8 and 9/8 every other bar, which sets a quirky counterpoint action in the melodies between the guitar and the bass. This composition is the defining musical mood of the project."

With over 31 years of living in Music City USA, Hemby has a long list of achievements. Widely praised for his guitar playing, songwriting, and producing talents, Hemby is a Grammy winner and recipient of four Dove Awards, including "Instrumental Album of the Year," for his debut album, An Acoustic Christmas with Tom Hemby. He has recorded with Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Peter Cetera, Faith Hill, Rob Thomas, and countless others. His compositions have been recorded by the likes of Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Dionne Warwick, Hank. Williams Jr., and many others. He has performed live with everyone from The Judds, Chaka Kahn and Barry Manilow, to Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, George Strait and Yolanda Adams. Other credits include Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, two albums with BeBe Winans, Dove Award-nominee Dream, and the Gnllmny-nominated album My Christmas Prayer.

Other notable songs on In The Moment include:

"Third WorId Man" - "I've always been a Steely Dan fan. I was just playing around with this tune one day when a magical thing started to come together on guitar with some harmonics. I quickly realized that 1 was maybe on to something."

"Seventh Heaven" - "Once again, my fascination for out-of-the-norm led me to compose this 7/4 metered tune. 1 grew up playing finger-style guitar and I've always loved the tone and texture of the nylon strings, so this Latin feel is the perfect backdrop to feature this instrument.

"Sub Aqua" - "1 have long been a fan of Scott Henderson's compositions and guitar playing. 1 have perfol1ned this song live for years and just couldn't resist recording it for this project. Once again its fascinating chord progressions, intriguing melody, and celebratory groove struck a nerve.

"Geraldine" - "This composition by Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets) may be one of the most beautiful pieces of music 1 have ever come across. 1 loved the idea of the haunting sound of a harmonics carrying the melody over a mellow bed of strings, piano and nylon string guitar. I don't know who Geraldine was, but she must have been a woman of beauty."

"The Necessary Blonde" -- This is a magnificent composition by Gary Willis (Tribal Tech, Allan Holdsworth). It has a brilliant melody over some of the most sophisticated chord progressions. This is not one for the faint of heart to perform. It can definitely be a challenge for us meager minded guitarists who are attempting to explore and comprehend its introspective complexities."


From Jay Graydon:

"Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for a musical ride that will leave you with your jaw hanging down and your mouth wide open! Tom Hemby is clearly a guitarist virtuoso in so many styles! He is the best of the best! Great composition and arrangements with incredible sensitivity as to melody expression, incredible touch and tone, and outstanding solos that will knock your socks off! This recording is a masterpiece!"

From Steve Lukather:

"Well done!! Unreal. Fantastic! Beautiful touch, tone, phrasing, chops, taste."

From Bill Champlin:

"Whenever Tom sends me an MP3 in an e-mail, it usually means I'm going to stop everyone at my house from what they were doing and have them listen to the stuff. It's as good as it gets."


In The Moment is a fourteen track instrumental jazz fusion album, with the exception of the last track, "Can I Count On You", which features vocalists Christopher Cross, Melinda Doolittle, Bill Champlin, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Ron Hemby, and Mandisa. The highlight of the project is definitely the monster rhythm section of drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist, Nathan East, who appear on three tracks; a fourth track with Vinnie, the title cut, is a duo with Tom Hemby on electric guitar.

So what's up with Vinnie only playing on four tracks? What's happening on the other ten? Well, besides being an world-class guitarist, he's also a very good drum/percussion programmer! In fact if I hadn't told you so, you would probably have thought that Vinnie was playing all the drum parts ... but he's not.

Other musicians on the album include Mark Douthil on saxophone, Pat Coll and Michael Omartian on piano, Gary Lunn, and Craig Nelson on bass.

Drummers and percussionists should enjoy this album with it's hip grooves, odd rhythmic phrasing and syncopation; there's a lot to enjoy.