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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser/Behn Gillece: Top Shelf

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The team of tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece has been steadily releasing music of a similar nature on the Posi-Tone label since its 2009 debut, Full View, hit the shelves. With this, the duo's fourth album, Fowser and Gillece continue along the same path with nary a stylistic sharp turn, yet this one manages to stand out because of one important difference: a third man out front. The three previous recordings were leaders-and-rhythm dates but, with Top Shelf, the group opens the frontline door, inviting trombonist Michael Dease to join in. The vibes-saxophone-trombone combination ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser and Behn Gillece: Duotone

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The tenor and vibes partnership of Ken Fowser and Behn Gillece has already established its credentials as an imaginative and innovative creator of cool-swinging straight-ahead jazz. Duotone, the duo's third album, reinforces those credentials with a fresh set of original tunes. As with their previous Posi-Tone releases--Full View (2009) and Little Echo (2010)--Duotone is a quintet recording. Each albums features a different rhythm section, and whether this is a deliberate strategy or not, it gives them variation in flavor, even though the sax and vibes frontline stays unchanged. It's also still the case that Gillece takes the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser / Behn Gillece: Duotone

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"Duotone" is a term that belongs to the world of photography, but it makes perfect sense when applied to this recording. Tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece superimpose their tonal colors and personalities against one another, to create an aural portrait that's both traditional and modern. While the supporting personnel have changed on each of their three Posi-Tone dates, the basic template by which their music is designed remains, essentially, the same. On each album, the pair employs a quintet to deliver melodically-inviting material with impressive soloing , but they also branch out beyond this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece: Little Echo

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If Marc Free, Nick O'Toole and the team at Posi-Tone Records continue producing albums in the same manner as they have been since the inception of the label in 1994, they will surely be further along the path to emulating the legacy of the Blue Note label, which has produced some of the finest music of our time. Little Echo, by saxophonist, Ken Fowser and vibraphonist, Behn Gillece, is a further testament to the label's determination to keep contemporary music in the jazz idiom alive. These young musicians are sublimely talented and have partnered with pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Ugonna ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece: Little Echo

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Little Echo is a delightful collection of bop-influenced tunes--contemporary, but with the authentic sound of a classic late-'50s or early-'60s ensemble. The quintet sounds like it brings many decades of experience to the recording yet the co-leaders and composers, saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibes player Behn Gillece, are still only in their late-20s. This is their second quintet album although their debut, Full View (Posi-tone Records, 2009), featured a different rhythm section. Fowser's tenor playing is characterised by a brightness that complements Gillece's ringing vibraphone sound, giving their playing a welcoming, positive, feel. Gillece has composed most ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser / Behn Gillece: Little Echo

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Tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece have been performing together since the 1990s as teenagers growing up outside of Philadelphia. Now residents of New York City, the two host a weekly jam session at Smalls Jazz Club where they've had the opportunity to perform with an A-list of jazz performers. Little Echo, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2009 debut Full View (Posi-Tone), puts a modern twist on classic hard bop sounds with a swinging quintet performing all original material. As front-line soloists, Fowser and Gillece play with conviction, phrasing with a mature elegance that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece: Little Echo

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Tenor saxophone and vibraphone frontlines--while not as commonplace as two horn teams--have their place in history. Lionel Hampton and Stan Getz had a marvelous meeting in the studio and Milt Jackson recorded with Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane, on different occasions. Bobby Hutcherson added to this legacy, working with Dexter Gordon and maintaining a fruitful partnership with Harold Land, and now tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece are furthering this legacy. Little Echo is the sophomore release from this pair and they use this opportunity to showcase their writing--with all nine songs co-credited ...



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