Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Interview

Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound

Read "Ulysses Owens: Big Band, Big Sound" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Some jazz drummers, as remarkable as they may be and as successful as their careers are, just aren't suited to drive a big band. It's not for every percussionist. But every big band needs a good one or the effort will fall short. A ship needs a rudder. Ulysses Owens Jr., who started beating out rhythms at home at the age of two, is one of those. His superlative skills have contributed mightily to groups led by Kurt ...

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Book Excerpts

The Musician's Career Guide: Turning Your Talent into Sustained Success

Read "The Musician's Career Guide: Turning Your Talent into Sustained Success" reviewed by Ulysses Owens Jr


The following is a revised excerpt from “Chapter 16: The Mental Side of Being a Musician of The Musician's Career Guide: Turning Your Talent into Sustained Success (Skyhorse Publishing, 2021). “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind." --Joyce Meyer, Author, Speaker, and President of Joyce Meyer Ministries We've touched on so many very important areas related to the music business, but we've neglected one that is equally important: mental health. One of the ...

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Album Review

Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band: Soul Conversations

Read "Soul Conversations" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.'s Big Band comes out swinging on its debut recording, Soul Conversations, thundering through Michael Dease's incendiary arrangement of the Dizzy Gillespie/John Lewis flame-thrower, “Two Bass Hit." For more such heat, however, the listener must move forward to Track 5, John Coltrane's impulsive “Giant Steps," thence to Track 9 for Charles Turner III's earnest homage to “Harlem Harlem Harlem," on which he doubles as vocalist. That's not to say that everything in between is ...

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Live Review

Ulysses Owens Jr. At The Jazz Corner

Read "Ulysses Owens Jr. At The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie


Ulysses Owens Jr.The Jazz Corner Songs of Love Hilton Head Island, South CarolinaFebruary 15-16, 2019 It was a pleasure to hear a group of skillful, energetic, and highly-educated young musicians at Hilton Head Island's Jazz Corner, led by master musician and two-time Grammy winner (including one for his work with Christian McBride band) Ulysses Owens Jr.. Bassist Philip Norris recently completed his studies at Juilliard and is now touring around the world, while vibraphonist ...

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Live Review

Justin Varnes & Ulysses Owens Jr at The Jazz Corner

Read "Justin Varnes & Ulysses Owens Jr at The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie


Justin Varnes / Ulysses Owens Jr. The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island, SC September 21-22, 2018 The special relationship between jazz drummers and bass players could never have been more obvious than on two consecutive weekends at The Jazz Corner in September 2018. Holding down the rhythm and bass line together, the players don't always receive the exposure they deserve. That omission was resoundingly rectified. On September 21 & 22, drummer Justin Varnes ...

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Album Review

Ulysses Owens, Jr.: Falling Forward

Read "Falling Forward" reviewed by James Nadal


Amidst a successful trajectory as a sought-after drummer with some of the premier jazz bands in the business, Ulysses Owens, Jr. has decided to take a giant step outside his comfort zone with Falling Forward, his fourth venture as leader. In a radical departure from typical jazz ensemble configurations, the assembled group consists of Owens, bassist Reuben Rogers, and vibraphonist Joel Ross, known collectively as Three. The instrumental sparseness is an obvious intent to expand individual contributions, as the triangular ...

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Multiple Reviews

Ulysses Owens Jr.: Of Odysseys And Evolution

Read "Ulysses Owens Jr.: Of Odysseys And Evolution" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The back panel of drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.'s Onward & Upward is adorned with a telling quote from spiritual teacher/writer Ernest Holmes. His statement, that “evolution is proof of an irresistible urge which pushes everything onward and upward," could be applied to myriad topics, but it truly captures the essence of jazz drumming through time; it also speaks of the protean pulsations produced by one of the instrument's rising stars. Owens' musical odyssey has taken him from ...


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