Phat Hed (AKA: Basie O’Brain AKA: The Right Hand of NOMA*)

Tom Walsh - Trombone
Tom Walsh
Phat Hed leader and producer
Post-digital, groove-approved, flesh’n’bone … jazz

Phat Hed:

  • hits you in “de base o’ yo’ brain”.
  • is a trio: stand-up bass, drums/percussion, & trombone/sampler.
  • is a reply to “What is Jazz?”.
  • has NOMA DNA.
  • plays space (NOMA moves space).
  • removes the scales… Rinses, then marinates.
  • works like LEGO; building…
  • works on the codes.
  • missed church, but found something.
  • is “fried mushrooms” in Thai.

Formed in 2000, Phat Hed Trio has shared the stage with Montréal’s NOMA & New York’s Sex Mob. Trombonists Wolter Wierbos (Amsterdam) & NYC’s Steve Swell joined Walsh & Co. adventures in 2002 concert productions for Traqu’enart & the Montréal Jazz Fest..

Summer 2004 sees Phat Hed premiering its self-titled CD, recorded live in 2003 during the heat of festival performances in Canada and … Slovakia!

Steve Swell - Trombone
Steve Swell
Special guest trombonist
The disc presents a remarkably magical Montréal “Jazz Contemporain” Festival concert featuring the ‘twin-bone’ treat of Tom Walsh & Steve Swell with bass/drum intelligence supplied by Miles Perkin & Thom Gossage. Also included: Walsh’s latest foray into ‘DNA mutation’ – a ‘free radical’ Hungarian version of Phat Hed! Magyar/Gypsy star virtuosos Balázs Elemér on drums and Szandai Mátyás on contrabass join Walsh in a surprisingly spicy concert in Nitra, Slovakia.

Walsh originally formed Phat Hed to work ‘in vitro’ with modular portions of the larger NOMA’s more demanding compositions; i.e. breaking the double trio into electric & acoustic trios to find the heart of each song.

The group’s tenor/bass colors have since evolved into a unique
voice, featuring driving grooves, extended techniques and, above all, a sense of humor and irreverence. There is no icon, no style of music too rare to be brought into the recipe book.

Phat Hed has unearthed roots… and spores; Phat Hed now aims from the vein.

*NOMA is a double trio septet:
electric bass, guitar/fx & drums (left)

acoustic bass, prepared guitar & drums (right),

trombone/sampler (center).