Fort Worth Native Quamon Fowler detours through South Louisiana and provides a funky soulful set of originals.
Quamon Fowler, student of the renowned jazz teacher Dr. Alvin Batiste at Southern University of Baton Rouge, steps out into the electrons with a contemporary jazz/neo-Hard Bop offering in Introducing Quamon Fowler. This maiden voyage is populated with smartly constructed, hook-filled compositions that showcase Fowler's tightly-focused, ultra-dense tone contrasted against the ethereal back drop of Arlington Jones' Fender Rhodes and/or Joey Carter's vibraphone. Fowler is well-schooled in Hard Bop as well as R&B. His playing betrays only a small nod to John Coltrane, choosing instead a more Michael Brecker meets David Sanborn direction. Introducing ... is what Hard Bop would sound like had it waited 40 years to be born. "Eternal Moments" and "Inner Me" are the best of the lot, but the lot are all mighty fine. Fowler's blues playing is well represented on "D-Town Blues", which expand the definition of that old 12-bar format in a most enjoyable and unexpected way. A fine young talent deserving of greater recognition.
This critic's only hope would be that a label, any label, would pick up Mr. Fowler and nurture his talent.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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