Spin Cycle, is led by saxophonist Tom Christensen and drummer Scott Neumann and plays an eclectic blend of hard hitting original music composed by the members of the band, four veterans of the New York City freelance jazz scene. Each member has recorded multiple albums as a leader and played in the bands of many well known jazz artists such as Joe Lovano, Woody Herman, Rufus Reid, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Maynard Ferguson, Jack McDuff and Lee Konitz . Formed in 2014, Spin Cycle is a collaborative band that can be lighthearted, serious, funky or abstract but always with a groove and without musical boundaries. A single song might contain influences from modal Coltrane, introspective free jazz, New Orleans funk or the no holds barred energy of punk.
The members of Spin Cycle Tom Christensen (Tenor and Soprano Sax) Pete McCann (Guitar) Phil Palombi (Bass) and Scott Neumann (Drums) came to New York City from California, Ohio, Wisconsin and Oklahoma over 25 years ago and quickly became a part of the jazz scene. They are all experienced educators as well, serving on the faculties of Lehigh University, Nyack College, The New School and The City College of New York. They have been on scores of albums, won grammys and published numerous books on jazz history and pedagogy. The band’s first CD was released in May of 2016 to critical acclaim in Downbeat and many other jazz publications. The band’s second CD “Assorted Colors” was released in April 2018 and has already received rave reviews in Downbeat and several other publications.
From the moment the group dives head first into the lead off track, the playful angular and hard-swinging “Break Tune”, the intensity never relents, until Christensen completes his exhilarating tenor workout on the athletic closer “Fit Bit”. Characteristics that made the groups initial release so appealing – strong melodic hooks, rock solid grooves, advanced harmonies and aggressive, deftly executed improvisations – have been refined by two years of intensive touring and are displayed even more cohesively on “Assorted Colors”. Spin Cycle is on a roll with momentum to spare.
Ed Enright, Downbeat 2018
About the members of the band
A graduate of The Eastman School of Music, Tom Christensen is an established saxophonist, woodwind specialist and composer in New York City. He is a member of The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra and has performed with them throughout the world. He can be heard on their latest recordings as well as on Grammy winning albums with Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, David Sanchez and Don Sebesky. Christensen has also performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The David Liebman Big Band, The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and the BMI Jazz Composer’s Orchestra as well as with pop acts such as Cheap Trick, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. He has also recorded cast albums for and performed with many Broadway shows. In 2003 Christensen was awarded a composition grant from Chamber Music America to write and perform an extended work based on the poetry of Frank O’Hara. This piece is featured on his 3rd CD “New York School” on Playscape Recordings which was listed as one the top ten jazz albums of 2005 by All About Jazz. Christensen’s latest projects include “Spin Cycle” with drummer Scott Neumann and “The Kailash Trio” featuring Tim Sund and Tomas Ulrich. Tom can also be heard on Rufus Reid’s latest CD “Quiet Pride”, David Liebman’s latest Big Band CD featuring the music of Wayne Shorter and with Ryan Truesdell’s “The Gil Evans Project-Lines of Color”. He is currently on the faculty of The Fieldston School in New York City.
Scott Neumann, a Bartlesville Oklahoma native, began playing drums professionally at the age of thirteen. His first major work was with The Woody Herman Orchestra, which he joined in 1988. Since moving to New York City in 1988, Scott has established himself as one of New York’s most creative and versatile drummers.
His touring credits include David Liebman, Tony Trischka, Jazz Mandolin Project, Makoto Ozone, Woody Herman, and Brother Jack McDuff. While in New York City, Scott has worked with such jazz luminaries as Grady Tate, Rufus Reid and Kenny Barron Recent sideman projects include the three-plus year Monday night tenure with Bill Mobley’s Big Band at the NYC jazz club Smoke. Performing and recording with Glafkos Kontemetios’s Trio, Bill Warfield’s New York Jazz Octet, Dan Wilensky and Chris Roger’s Quintet. Other large Ensemble associations include the Grammy nominated orchestra of Pete McGuiness and Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band. Scott has played on over 50 CDs and has recorded with artists including Kenny Werner, David Liebman, Eddie Gomez and Claudio Roditi. Scott’s educational experience is as diverse as his performance career. Since 2005, Scott has been an adjunct faculty member at Lehigh University directing the drum studies. As a Sabian Cymbal artist and jazz educator, Scott has presented countless workshops at colleges, universities and high schools throughout the United States, Europe and South America. Scott also has several years of instrumental music education experience at the elementary and high school level.
Scott plays and is an exclusive artist and educator for G.M.S. Drums, Aquarian Drumheads and Sabian Cymbals.
Jazz guitarist Pete McCann has been an integral part of the New York City scene for 20 years. He currently leads an exciting new group of New York’s finest
jazz artists on his latest CD, Extra Mile, on Nineteen-Eight Records. McCann’s previous releases, Most Folks, You Remind Me of Someone, Parable, have been widely praised by top jazz critics.
McCann is one of the first-call sidemen in New York. He works in several groups including the Patti Austin band, Lee Konitz Nonet, Chris Tarry group, New York Nonet, Dan Willis Sextet, JD Walter Trio, and Alison Wedding’s group. Pete has performed with some of the greats in jazz: Kenny Wheeler, Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, Kenny Garrett, Peter Erskine, Gary Thomas, Greg Osby, Brian Blade, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra. He has appeared on over 50 CDs including: Al- most Certainly Dreaming, Chris Tarry group (2008 Juno Award); I Think It’s Going To Rain Today, Curtis Stigers; The Other Side Of Ellington, The Palmetto All-Stars; Standard Wonder (The Music Of Stevie Wonder), Dave Pietro; Round ‘Bout Now, George Schuller; and Phase 2, Mahavishnu Project.
Pete’s playing encompasses a wide variety of musical styles and genres– Straight- ahead, Post-Bop, Avant-Garde, Latin, Jazz-Rock Fusion. He has performed throughout the US, Canada and Europe from clubs to jazz festivals, musicals, award shows, and even an opera. Pete is an adjunct faculty guitar teacher at The New School and City College in New York City. He also teaches at the NYU Summer Guitar Intensive, and the Maine Jazz Camp.
Grammy award winning bassist Phil Palombi is “one of the most sought after young bass players”, according to Steely Dan tenor saxophonist and renowned jazz musician Walt Weiskopf. His performance and recording credits include such players as, Michael Brecker, Billy Hart, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Etta Jones, Maynard Ferguson, Chris Potter, Rich Perry, Curtis Stigers, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Chucho Valdes, Mark Turner, Eliot Zigmund, Don Friedman, and The Village Vanguard Orchestra to name a few. Upon moving to New York City, he immediately began working full time performing at many of the city’s jazz venues. Jazz wasn’t the only music he was interested in however. Phil is also an accomplished electric bassist and performs regularly around the city in various funk, R & B, and Brazilian pop bands.
By the fall of 1995, Phil had caught the ear of trumpet virtuoso Maynard Ferguson, and was offered a job with his new nine-piece group Big Bop Nouveau. During his two year tenure with Maynard, he recorded the CD One More Trip to Birdland (for Concord Records), a track for a Concord Christmas CD, and performed on the television shows of Pat Boullard, Crook and Chase, Good Morning Texas and Jazz Central on the B.E.T. Network. After performing with the King of Thailand in Bangkok, Palombi left Maynard to move to New York City.
For five years, Palombi was the bassist for Concord recording artist Curtis Stigers. Backing Curtis took Phil to nearly every continent, performing over 100 dates a year. Playing that many gigs a year with the same band is a rarity these days- a fact that is not lost on Curtis’s backing trio. In 2005, they formed the group Tri-Fi, released four CD’s, and have garnished rave reviews by such publications as Playlist Magazine, All About Jazz, and The London Times.
In August of 2008, Phil stepped in to the late bassist Dennis Irwin’s position with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to help the band get through a difficult time. At the end of a week run in February of 2009 at the legendary Village Vanguard, the group recorded two nights, which produced the Grammy award winning double CD “Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard”.
2011 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of bass legend Scott LaFaro, who Phil honors in his latest recording RE:Person I Knew – A Tribute to Scott LaFaro. The recording features the working trio of piano great Don Friedman and Eliot Zigmund. Phil has also found the time to write a book on LaFaro entitled Scott LaFaro – 15 Solo Transcriptions, which is the first book of LaFaro solos ever published. Scott LaFaro was one of the pioneers of jazz bass soloing and this book contains 15 of his solos taken from the Bill Evans recordings Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard.
Completing the popular LaFaro book opened up a new avenue of expression for the bassist. After attending a master class Phil was presenting at the International Society of Bassists convention in 2005, the editor of Double Bassist magazine hired him to write a five page article for the publication. The article (on Scott LaFaro, of course) was so well received that Phil was asked to write for the magazine on a regular basis, expanding his method of jazz analysis beyond the great LaFaro to other bassists. In addition, a whole new career as clinician began to emerge, with a return appearance at the 2007 ISB conference, as well as master classes at many colleges, with Eastman School of music being the most notable.