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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; Martinís Theme; The District of the Blues; Weíre Going Up; Peaceful Walking; POO-KU; Heaven; It Be Feeling Like the Blues; Sweet Gentle Lullaby; Whatís the Use.
Personnel: Jimmy Owens: trumpet and flugelhorn; Christian ďChiccoĒ Capiozzo: drums; Daniele Santimone: guitar; Michele ďMeccoĒ Guidi: organ.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.