361

Ralph Bowen: Due Reverence

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Bowen: Due Reverence Thanks to an American Idol culture and any number of other circumstances, the jazz universe is filled with extremely bright, if lesser known stars, who are just as talented as their more noted constellations. Such is the case with saxophonist Ralph Bowen, a truly bad-ass player who has appeared on over 60 recordings as a sideman and leader. Due Reverence, his second release on Posi-Tone, is prime example of his continued voice as a musician and leader.

The company that Bowen keeps is indicative of his band members here, all of whom recorded on his 2009 Posi-Tone release, Dedicated. Guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist John Patitucci), drummer Antonio Sanchez and trumpeter Sean Jones are all remarkable and respected leaders with recordings and résumés at the vanguard of the current music scene.

Following the sentiments of his previous release, Due Reverence continues the saxophonist's dedications to other musicians who have been mentors and influential throughout his career. Dedicated to guitarist Ted Dunbar, "Less Is More" begins the set with Rogers' austere classical guitar intro, before tentatively rising into a steady tempo as the group settles into the flow, with Bowen's tenor singing like John Coltrane and Charlie Parker in a strong modal rhythm.

"This One's For Bob" (for saxophonist Bob Mintzer), soars into the stratosphere, with Patitucci and Sanchez's percolating rhythm catapulting circuitous lines from Bowen that exhibit his remarkable control and endurance, while Rogers answers with fluidity of depth and tone, echoing Wes Montgomery but forging new frontiers in the vein of Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Bowen and the band show that swing is still an idiom of beauty and precision on tunes such as "Phil-osophy," where Sanchez trades fire-for-fire with the other soloists. Jones makes an appearance on the spicy "Mr. Scott," delivering his singular bright tone and cutting soulfulness. The band cools it on "Points Encountered," but the heat still simmers due to everyone's contributions, including Patitucci's incisive electric bass playing.

It can be debated until the "Saints Come Marching In" whether certain musicians deserve more or less recognition. But when it's all said and done—as well as performed and listened to—it's about the music. Due Reverence stands on its own merits; a fine example of Bowen and his band's clear abilities.

Track Listing: Less Is More; This One's For Bob; Phil-osophy; Mr. Scott; Points Encountered.

Personnel: Ralph Bowen: tenor saxophone; Adam Rogers: guitar; John Patitucci: bass; Antonio Sanchez: drums; Sean Jones: trumpet (4).

Title: Due Reverence | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Eros" CD/LP/Track Review Eros
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Skylines" CD/LP/Track Review Skylines
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.