In June of 1997 Thomas Lehn and Gerry Hemingway came together for a duo tour in Germany that had originally been planned as a quartet with Mats Gustafsson and Barry Guy. But the budget was meager and salvaging the tour seemed the best option and so the tour went on as a duo. Thomas recorded all of the concerts and the extensive recordings were recently compiled into this double CD, which was painstakingly edited, sequenced and mastered to provide the best possible showcase for this superb music. The recordings have proved so compelling that the duo has decided to tour once again, this time in the United States in March 2000.
Thomas Lehn, who hails from Cologne, plays the analogue synthesizer on this project, which is his primary instrument, although he also plays the piano. As a synthesizer player he's been omnipresent in the European improv scene since the early '90's, but only recently has begun to be documented on disc, and even then, most of the recordings are on small, hard-to-find European labels, typically in very limited quantities. This project gives a wider audience a chance to hear the man who Jim O'Rourke has described as "the world's greatest synth player" (The Wire, 1/98).
Gerry Hemingway needs no introduction to anyone with any interest in the current state of free improv. He's led or co-led more than twenty records, most notably five by his superb quintet, featuring Michael Moore, Walter Wierbos, Mark Dresser, and Ernst Reijseger, whose final recording, "Waltzes, Two-Steps and Other Matters of the Heart" (GM Recordings), was just released. also, his ambitious chamber music compositions were recently documented on "Chamber Works" (Tzadik), also just released. He's been involved in too many projects to name all of them, but it should be noted that he was an integral member of what's considered by many to be Anthony Braxton's premier working band, the quartet of Braxton, Hemingway, Marilyn Crispell, and Mark Dresser. Tom & Gerry is a rare chance to hear Hemingway in a largely electroacoustic setting.
"Lehn can be heard on the recent MIMEO disc but gets lost among the project's cluttered, too-many-chefs all-star lineup. Now, on the strength of this epic double CD, Lehn joins the likes of Fennesz, Otomo, and Wachsmann as one of the world's premier electroacoustic improvisers, while Hemingway more than holds his own as the foil for Lehn's staggering splatter-attack of synthesized sound. Lehn is easily the most energizing force improv has seen in ages." - Gil Gershman