2

Scott Cowan: Jack's Place

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Cowan: Jack's Place Trumpeter Scott Cowan built his strength performing with several top-notch musicians, including pianist Fred Hersch, trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and guitarist Kenny Burrell, in addition to being an educator and a conductor and arranger. He makes an ambitious move on his debut as a leader by extending his core unit of a quartet into a quintet, sextet and octet. The basic configuration makes for some warm and cozy listening, with the expanded groups showing not only his compositional skill but also his gift for arrangement. The music flows coherently, made stronger by individual attributes and the interplay between the musicians.

The quartet finds a deep groove, on "A Little Blues For A Little One," that unfurls rather lazily. The mood captures the moment and is elevated by pianist Matthew Fries, who is eloquent, and lets space have as much acknowledgment in developing the theme as his succinct notes, which contrast with Cowan's blistering tempest of shards. The juxtaposition of approaches is organic and edgy.

In contrast, Cowan is beautifully modulated, with every note oozing warm emotion into the melody, on the lovely, captivating ballad, "My Elizabeth." His expansion of the theme is assured as he stays within the confines of good taste, never letting the boundaries blister unbecomingly.

Cowan pulls in tenor saxophonist Ben Schmidt-Swartz to swing with the quartet on "Jack's Place." The snappy atmosphere is lit by Fries and abetted by Keith Hall's lithe drumming. Schmidt-Swartz is full-bodied as he dives into a well of ideas before Cowan comes in and forges his own vein of inspired grooves.

"Narnian Knight" is an expansive composition that uses the octet to great effect. The ensemble is rich in harmony and takes the Latin-themed song through its changes with aplomb. The soloists are cogent in priming angular motifs, and add pith to the development.

Cowan proves that he is an assured composer and an imaginative player. In tandem with his outfits, he makes Jack's Place one well worth visiting.

Track Listing: Jack’s Place; Popsicle, Taffy and Donuts; Dayacks; Narnian Knight; My Elizabeth; Moch One; Reflection; You Ole’ Cracker; Aslan’s Act; Kazoo Boogaloo; A Little Blues For A Little One.

Personnel: Scott Cowan: trumpet; Mathew Fries: piano; Phil Palombi: bass; Keith Hall: drums; John Wojciechowski: alto and tenor saxophones; Ben Schmidt-Swartz: baritone and tenor saxophones; Christian Euman: percussion; Eric Bowman: trombone; John Ailabouni: trumpet; Tommy Proulx: tenor saxophone.

Title: Jack's Place | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "As If By Magic" CD/LP/Track Review As If By Magic
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "En Corps Generation" CD/LP/Track Review En Corps Generation
by John Sharpe
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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