All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Jonathan Rowden Group at Alvas Showroom

Paul Naser By

Sign in to view read count
Jonathan Rowden Group
Alvas Showroom
San Pedro, CA
November 15, 2013

On the intimate stage at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, with warm, colorful lighting and a large, slanted mirror hanging overhead, the Jonathan Rowden Group gave a heartfelt performance to an appreciative audience. Rowden, a young Los Angeles based composer, showcased his own works alongside those of the group's pianist, and everyone in the band contributed inspired playing. The group consists of Jonathan Rowden on saxophones, Ryan Pryor on piano, Chris Hon on bass and James Yoshizawa on drums and percussion.

The set opened with one of Rowden's compositions, "27-1," which featured Rowden, Pryor and a Hon. The sensitive interplay between everyone in the band set the tone for the evening, and everyone took cues from each other, propelling the tune forward until it came to a close with a transition to the next song. Rowden used his pedals to contribute to the imaginative explorations of texture that constituted the transition as the band moved forward into Pryor's "Autonation." Experimentation with timbre and texture was a theme of the evening and is one of the group's strong suits. They continued with Pryor's arrangement of "In the Singing," which opened with a duo between him and Rowden; the subtle communication between the two of them attested to their musical chemistry. Rowden's "Rin's Song," an up-tempo number based around a catchy melody, followed. Composed for solo saxophone for an engagement Rowden had in Japan, the melody is rhythmically intriguing and the setting for the quartet is very open, allowing for a lot of harmonic freedom. The set closed with Pryor's arrangement of Madonna's "I'll remember," which brought forth fiery playing from everyone, particularly Yoshizawa.

The second set began with "Long Road Home," a drum feature written by Rowden especially for Yoshizawa. The first half of this tune found the band playing very rubato, with Yoshizawa making expert use of the kit to create a gorgeous palette underneath. They continued with a composition of Pryor's titled "Outside My Window," a fun tune with a lighthearted melody and intriguing harmony. The triplet feel and phrasing made it vaguely reminiscent of a jig. The final tune of the night provided the band an opportunity to showcase their superb ability to create captivating soundscapes. Rowden's "Snowing in Paradise" began with a completely freely improvised introduction where Rowden made expert use of his pedals, creating ethereal vocal effects. The melody was established and the group quickly picked up the intensity. The song and the night ended with scorching intensity as the band proceeded to crescendo into the final note. Definitely check this group out next time they are playing.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read European Jazz Conference 2018 Live Reviews
European Jazz Conference 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 25, 2018
Read The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018 Live Reviews
The Magpie Salute At The Grand Point North Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY Live Reviews
Chris Isaak at The Paramount in Huntington, NY
by Christine Connallon
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "12 Points 2018" Live Reviews 12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre" Live Reviews Trish Clowes at Mermaid Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano" Live Reviews Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar" Live Reviews Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018