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Jimmy Owens: Peaceful Walking

Joel Roberts By

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Trumpeter/flugelhornist Jimmy Owens is truly one of the unsung heroes of jazz. Over the course of his forty year career, the New York native has worked with giants like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach, and recorded as a leader for major labels like Atlantic and Polydor. He's also been active as a jazz educator and activist. But he's never really achieved major name recognition.

Owens' Peaceful Walking is a collection of mostly original songs recorded in Italy with an organ-guitar-drums trio of young, still developing Italian musicians. The set covers a wide range of styles, from the old-fashioned bebop of the opening "Charlie Parker Will Be Remembered to some occasionally rousing funk to a heartfelt composition in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Throw in a reggae tune and a few blues numbers and it's a somewhat jumbled mix that never really catches fire.

Owens provides crisp, expertly crafted solos throughout, especially on the album's best tunes, like the ballad "Heaven, the hard bop workout "We're Going Up, and the energetic closer, "What's the Use. But guitarist Daniele Santimone, organist Michele "Mecco Guidi and drummer Christian "Chicco Capiozzo, all talented musicians, often sound like they're moonlighting from a rock band.

Track Listing: Charlie Parker Will be Remembered; Look Softly; Expression of a Feeling; Martin

Personnel: Jimmy Owens: trumpet and flugelhorn; Christian

Title: Peaceful Walking | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jay-Oh Jazz

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