191

Ken Fowser / Behn Gillece: Duotone

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Ken Fowser / Behn Gillece: Duotone "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 general description. "Spontaneity" features a wide developmental arc, which begins with impressionistic piano and loose, searching statements, eventually arriving at propulsive swing, and "Come Around Again" is an intimate, musical-dream sequence.

Both men own equal shares in this music but, as on Little Echo (Posi-Tone, 2010), Gillece serves as the primary composer. Fowser's contributions—the breezy, Brazilian-tinged "Bongo" and the hip, swinging "One For G"—come at the end of the album, after Gillece has already established himself as the compositional kingpin of the group. His music can be hypnotic ("Offset"), relaxed and carefree ("Low Ball"), or caffeinated and swinging ("Back To Back"), depending on the moment, but all of it remains highly accessible.

While the solid architecture of each piece speaks to the writing skills of Gillece, and Fowser on a smaller scale, jazz remains an improviser's art, and this album features plenty of soloing to attest to their strengths in this area. While they take the large majority of the solo spots, pianist Donald Vega is an almost-equal partner in this department. He steals the show on the up-tempo "Back To Back," and his bluesy piano work on "Offset" takes the song in a different direction.

The team of bassist David Wong, of drummer Roy Haynes' Fountain of Youth band fame, and überdrummer Willie Jones III are as good a rhythm duo as can be hoped for, and they provide superb support throughout the program. When the music requires intensity, they push and prod to perfection, but they also underline the cool characteristics of the slower, swinging material on the album.

Duotone isn't a radical departure from Full View (Posi-Tone, 2009) and Little Echo, but that's just fine. It's a winning program of original tunes that continues to show off the chemistry which exists between two exciting instrumental voices bound for the big time.


Track Listing: Overcooked; Spontaneity; Attachment; Back To Back; Come Around Again; In The Twilight; Low Ball; Bongo; Offset; One for G.

Personnel: Ken Fowser: tenor saxophone; Behn Gillece: vibraphone; Donald Vega: piano; David Wong: bass; Willie Jones III: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Breaking Point" CD/LP/Track Review Breaking Point
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Danse" CD/LP/Track Review Danse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Masters Of War" CD/LP/Track Review Masters Of War
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 29, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!