246

Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece: Little Echo

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece: Little Echo Tenor saxophone and vibraphone frontlines—while not as commonplace as two horn teams—have their place in history. Lionel Hampton and Stan Getz had a marvelous meeting in the studio and Milt Jackson recorded with Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane, on different occasions. Bobby Hutcherson added to this legacy, working with Dexter Gordon and maintaining a fruitful partnership with Harold Land, and now tenor saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece are furthering this legacy.

Little Echo is the sophomore release from this pair and they use this opportunity to showcase their writing—with all nine songs co-credited to both men—as well as their playing. "Resolutions," wisely selected as the opener, might be the catchiest song on the album. "Ninety Five" and the title track both possess a similar, steady eighth note groove—provided by drummer Quincy Davis—that's underscored by repetitive bass lines from Ugonna Okegwo. This combination helps lock things in beneath the soloists, acting as a grounding force. Pianist Rick Germanson has a killer descending run during his solo on the latter tune, but "Ninety Five" is the far more gratifying performance on the whole.

"Sap" begins with some musical questions being asked—with appropriate pauses after these lines—and Germanson's questions seem to be the most ominous in nature. Once the solos start, everybody—save Okegwo—gets a chance to let loose and nobody wastes the opportunity. "The Dog Days" is a molasses-slow ballad that makes brilliant use of the less-is-more approach. Fowser's solo starts off with an aching delivery and Germanson sticks to impressionistic statements, with some bluesy licks thrown in to spice things up. While Gillece's soloing seems a bit aimless on this one, he more than makes up for it on "Vigilance." Okegwo's slick bass work sets the tone for the piece, but Fowser and Gillece steal the attention away from him with their seemingly effortless run through the tricky rhythmic line they created. Once they make their way down this path, the solos begin and Gillece sounds phenomenal when he and Fowser begin to tangle their lines around one another.

"You" has a buoyant, uplifting sound that's wholly unique to this album. While Fowser and Gillece let the music breath and fly, Davis holds it in place with some heavy-handed playing. Okegwo's reputation as one of the most supportive bassists around is upheld on this record and, just when it appears the spotlight eludes him, he finally gets a chance to step out and solo on the album closer, "Another View." Much of this music has a timeless quality about it and little echoes of the giants listed above come through on Little Echo.


Track Listing: Resolutions; Ninety Five; Sap; The Dog Days; Vigilance; Little Echo; One Step At A Time; You; Another View.

Personnel: Ken Fowser: tenor saxophone; Behn Gillece: vibraphone; Rick Germanson: piano; Ugonna Okegwo: bass; Quincy Davis: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | 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 "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "River Silver" CD/LP/Track Review River Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Jim Olin
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Sunday Night At The Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Sunday Night At The Vanguard
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 18, 2016

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!