Chong Jazz: Tehom4/1994

Tehom is a spacy kind of jazz painting floating eerily out of a run-down apartment in Youngstown, Ohio. The improv musical stylings of Paul Bishop (guitar), Auggie Ruggierra (bass), John Gray (drums) and Jeremy Hazlett (keyboards) run from bizarre jazz to Middle-Eastern harmonic-minor scales to sheer heaviness, all in one smokily-crafted song.

“Our music is like binoculars,” says Paul. “It's a scope of how we see the music world. Every little part from every period that we find attractive, we just snatch it up and incorporate in into our music.”

Tehom is an instrumental band, preferring to focus on a song as a piece rather than a poem. They want the music to be the story that people get, without anyone standing centerstage diluting the message with lyrics.

“Right now I think we sound like if Paranoid-era Black Sabbath crashed into Frank Zappa at a Yes convention,” says Auggie. “While everybody was playing John Coltrane's 'Africa' really loudly,” Paul adds.

The word Tehom (pronouced tay·home) comes from Egyptian mythos. It's the chaotic, watery nothingness where everything was born.

“They talk about where the salt water mixes with the sweet water. It's like the eternal womb,” says Paul. “I think that fits the music.”

By The Billy Keaggy | Originally published in insideOUT Magazine, Spring 1994i am