Skip to content
  • Print

Tom Peron

Lecturer in Jazz Studies




World class jazz trumpet player Tom Peron (rhymes with heron) delights listeners with his warm, full-bodied tones and flawless articulation. He was inspired and encouraged by his father who played trumpet with the Sacramento (California) Symphony for 25 years.

In 1982, Peron joined a group led by the extraordinary pianist Jessica Williams, one of his strongest boosters. She introduced him to a fiery San Francisco drummer who had worked with her for years - Bud Spangler. Peron and Spangler felt a mutual rapport and respect as they began performing together. "It was love at first note," Spangler recalls.

With John Wiitala on bass and Jessica Williams as a special guest on piano, Peron and Spangler recorded their debut album as leaders, Interplay, released by Monarch Records in 1994. It is a swinging mix of standards by such immortals as Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and George Gershwin, plus two Ton Peron originals. It quickly became chartbound on the Gavin and one of Monarch's best sellers.

Playing "straight-ahead jazz for the '90s," the Peron/Spangler group draws inspiration from legendary collaborations of jazz horn players and drummers, i.e. Clifford Brown and Max Roach; the John Coltrane Quartet with Elvin Jones; and Miles Davis with his procession of fine drummers - Philly Joe Jones, Jimmy Cobb, and Tony Williams.

Jazz journalist Scott Yanow proclaims, "The conclusion one reaches after listening to the stimulating music of the Tom Peron/Bud Spangler Quartet is that there is still plenty of life to be found in straight-ahead jazz."

Alex Henderson, reviewing Interplay in JazzIz: "...this unit satisfies...A very warm and melody-conscious improviser, Peron brings to mind the Miles Davis or Chet Baker school of heartfelt lyricism, but he has obviously absorbed the ideas of brassier trumpeters like Kenny Dorham and Clifford Brown, as well."

Peron has performed throughout Northern California for almost twenty years. He opened for Stanley Clark and George Duke in Sacramento, performed with pianist Smith Dobson at Garden City in San Jose, has been a featured player at the Cotati, California Jazz Festival, and has played the Great American Music Hall and Kimball's in San Francisco. He co-led the Peron/Spangler Quartet at the Monterey Jazz Festival, KRML's Jazz Store in Carmel, Yoshi's, Pearl's, Heart & Soul, and the Museum of Modern Art, all in San Francisco, and numerous other venues in the San Francisco and Sacramento area.

Peron is a trumpeter on Joe Gilman's Treasure Chest (Timeless Records) and in vocalist Kitty Margolis' Evolution (Madcat Records), both CDs featuring Joe Henderson, and a special guest on guitarist Mimi Fox's Turtle Logic (Monarch Records.)

In June, 1996, Monarch released Peron/Spangler's second CD, titled Dedications since each of the four standards and five originals were dedicated to someone inspirational to the leaders. Peron composed four of the nine cuts, dedicating them to members of his family and the late great trumpet virtuoso, Rafael Mendez, who was a close family friend of Tom's family.

Phil Elwood, music critic for the San Francisco Examiner, called attention to a second meaning for the CD's title: "...the dedication of all the performing instrumentalists is apparent throughout." He wrote, "As for trumpeter/composer Peron, one is encouraged to say, 'just listen,' and move on - astonished at his playing, versatility, imagination and technical facility. Master of his horn, with 'good ears,' as Lester Young would have said, Peron has created his own style, his own sound, out of jazz roots. Very few trumpeters out there are Peron's equal, let alone his better,"

Tom Peron, trumpeter-composer-teacher, possesses rare talents. With his impassioned playing and impeccable technique, he is destined to join the legends.