The title and cover here are super-simple, but the sound is anything but – a continuing evolution of the talents of tenorist RalphBowen, who just seems to grab us more and more with each new album! The core of the record is the long "Phylogeny Suite", which has some of the most complex writing we've ever heard from Bowen – almost like he's hitting a second chapter of his career, while still finding a way to soulfully swing with the quality that first made us love him a number of years ago. There's almost a Monk-like sense of angularity at points – accented by the piano work of Jim Ridl, who plays in the quartet alongside Kenny Davis on bass and Cliff Almond on drums. Titles include "A Cast Of Crabs", "A Leap Of Leopards", "Cache Cache", "A Rookery Of Ravens", and a version of McCoy Tyner's "Search For Peace". CD
Conrad Herwig really has a way of making other players cook – a special sort of something that comes through in both his rich vision for the music, and his strong inspiration as a soloist too! This album's key testament to that quality in Herwig's music – as it has all players sounding really a cut above – and soaring with Conrad's trombone in a marvelous batch of original tunes with a really fresh feel! The rhythm section grooves right from the start – often with some modal energy at its core, giving the record the feel of some lost European jazz set from the 70s at points – yet definitely holding onto its own spirit amidst all of Herwig's original compositions. Piano from Orrin Evans is a key part of the album's success – but the set also features great work from RalphBowen on tenor, Kenny Davis on bass, Donald Edwards on drums, and Herwig himself on trombone. Titles include "Traceless Moon", "The Sun Within", "Morning Shade", "Thorn Witness", "Free Action Reaction", and "The Voice Through The Door". CD
Jim Rotondi —
Move ... CD Criss Cross (Netherlands), 2010. Used ...
Jim Rotondi blows with that great round sound we love so much in his horn – a bold, confident tone that only seems to get better with age, especially in the company of a group like this! The album features a core rhythm section that Jim's plenty comfortable with – David Hazeltine on piano, John Webber on bass, and Joe Farnsworth on drums – and is rounded out to a sextet with the presence of RalphBowen on tenor and Mike DiRubbo on alto, both tight horn players whose formations with Rotondi really help to give the album a strong, solid form! Titles include "Progress", "Julie Ann", "The Coat", "For Cedar", "The Look Of Love", "DH", and "Too Late Now". CD
A great early moment for pianist Renee Rosnes – and a set that has her really bursting out with help from a top-shelf lineup of musicians! The core trio features Ron Carter on bass and Lewis Nash on drums – although Renee also plays without them on two numbers – and the tunes really benefit from vivid horn work from players who include Branford Marsalis on tenor and soprano sax, RalphBowen on tenor, and Wayne Shorter on soprano – each taking a turn on different tracks throughout the set. Herbie Hancock joins Renee on a piano duet on the number "Fleur De Lis" – a lovely track with no other instrumentation besides the twin pianos – and other titles include "The Storyteller", "Diana", "Playground For The Birds", "Punjab", and "IA Blues". CD
Michael Dease is fast becoming one of our favorite trombonists in recent years – and he's a player with both an amazing ability to evoke so many traditions on his instrument, while also leaving his own special mark as well! Here, Dease takes off in very comfortable company – a combo that features some great Posi-Tone labelmates – including RalphBowen on tenor, Walt Weiskopf on alto and tenor, Behn Gillece on vibes, and Luther Allison on piano – all players who work together seamlessly in the ensemble, to realize the richer vision of Michael's increasing skills as an arranger! The lead trombone solos are still quite strong, but they're also part of the larger puzzle in a great way too – a bit like some of the music we love from Conrad Herwig – and rhythm in the group is provided by Peter Brendler on bass and Zach Aldeman on drums. Titles include "Water Runs Dry", "Something In Common", "Morning Shade", "Double Luminosity", "Blackfoot", "The Chameleon Eye", and "The Takeover". CD
Out Of The Blue —
OTB ... LP Blue Note, 1985. Used ...
Out Of Stock
One of the greatest discoveries of mid 80s Blue Note – a key group filled with bold young players who'd really go onto make some big waves in jazz for years to come! The musicians state their presence strongly right from the start – with just the sort of energy you'd expect from a group that features Kenny Garrett on alto, RalphBowen on tenor, Michael Philip Mossman on trumpet, Harry Pickens on piano, Robert Hurst on bass, and Ralph Peterson on drums – all players who also get to express themselves strongly on the host of original compositions on the set! Tunes are on fire with new voices and new ideas – much more hard-burning than you might expect – and titles include "RH Factor", "Output", "Reunited", "OTB", "Blue Hughes", and "Git In There". LP, Vinyl record album