Staring off as a recording engineer in Philadelphia, Thomas James Ackley has been a part of the music business for the past 20 years. Initially he worked with independent artists before becoming the keyboard tech for the likes of Boyz to Men and Grover Washington, Jr. After moving to New York in the mid 90s, he joined the Hit Factory Studio and while he was there for only a short time he had the chance to engineer for Celine Dion, Will Smith, and others.
By the turn of the millennium, Ackley’s focus had begun to shift to remixing and to his own work. Debuting under the pseudonym of Tomazz in 2007, he has already released several smooth Jazz CDs. In 2007 he released his first smooth jazz album Orient Bay featuring piano leads and retro synths. The following year he released a retrospective of his work dating back to 1992 called Chronicles.
In early 2010 he released his second smooth jazz album Lucid Dream focusing on sounds from the 70s and early 80s. 2010 also saw the release of his electronica/dance album called Thinking About You. A collection of club pumping tracks and some new dance remixes from Lucid Dream.
His latest release is his third smooth jazz album called Winter Chill. Tomazz states “When I set out to follow up Lucid Dream I originally decided to have a more orchestral approach to the overall sound. If you listen to The Road or Majestic Moon for example that’s mostly orchestral and far from anything jazzy. However, as I started working the overall direction became more adventurous. Albatross is big example of this which is more progressive jazz or fusion is you like. There are movements or sections that stand outside the usual verse, bridge, chorus format. Of course there are songs which are very smooth jazz like Jack Boogie, Cup of Soul, Coast to Coast and Comfort my Heart.
The title song Winter Chill was produced in the style of Chris Botti. Very moody and romantic. The main vocal track Make It a Sunny Day was actually written musically a number of years ago but I never finished it. So I put some lyrics down and produced it with a kind of retro feel almost Phil Collins sound. I’m very pleased the way the album Winter Chill came out. I hope listeners get as much enjoyment out of it as I did producing it.”
His newest album Winter Chill is now on sale at CDBaby.