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ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: The Kung-Fu Masters

Read "The Kung-Fu Masters" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

New York City-based saxophonist Sean Nowell has found a home with the increasingly prominent West Coast modern jazz record label, Posi-Tone Records. His fourth release highlights the turbo-powered acoustic-electric band, The Kung-Fu Masters. Word has it that the ensemble has been creating a buzz in The Big Apple, and in recent times has acted like a jazz collective, featuring guest spots by formidable players such as guitarist Mike Stern and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Now that Nowell has firmed-up the core ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: The Kung-Fu Masters

Read "The Kung-Fu Masters" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The Kung-Fu Masters isn't simply another album for tenor saxophonist Sean Nowell; it's the recorded coming out party for a band and concept that he's been tweaking and promoting for years. Nowell has been field testing this project in New York jazz spots like 55 Bar, and his website contains various recorded performances of the group at the club dating back to 2009, but this marks the first official outing from this forward-thinking beast of a band. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: Stockholm Swingin'

Read "Stockholm Swingin'" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Sean Nowell has lent his talents to a diverse array of bands including Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra and his own Kung-Fu Masters, working across numerous musical styles. On Stockholm Swingin', the tenor saxophonist's third Posi-Tone release, he stays in recognizably straight-ahead territory, bringing his impressively wide-ranging and imaginative tenor sound to a live quintet recording from the Swedish capital's Glenn Miller Café in November, 2010. Nowell and drummer Joe Abba, a longtime musical collaborator, are joined by a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: Stockholm Swingin'

Read "Stockholm Swingin'" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Tenor saxophonist Sean Nowell's third CD is an engaging set of music that was recorded live at the Glen Miller Café in Stockholm at the end of a fourteen-day tour through Sweden. Nowell's band mate in Travis Sullivan's Björkestra, drummer Joe Abba, and a solid crew of Swedish musicians help to flesh out this riveting set of music which, as the title implies, is built on, but not limited to, swinging selections. The program starts off with ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Sean Nowell

Read "Take Five With Sean Nowell" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Sean Nowell:Sean Nowell is a tenor saxophonist and composer from Birmingham, Alabama steeped in the southern traditions of blues, gospel, jazz, and funk fused with the complex harmonic and world rhythmic concepts that permeate the music of New York City.

While in Alabama, he sang in cathedrals with a national touring a cappella choir and was exposed to vocal music from Germany, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He received a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: The Seeker

Read "The Seeker" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

The group dynamic is a powerful force in jazz. Tenor saxophonist Sean Nowell recognizes that with The Seeker, a set of songs that demonstrate his abilities as a leader, songwriter and soloist, but doesn't ignore those around him. Nowell hails from Birmingham, Alabama. Versed in several styles of music, he has also traveled world-wide and has worked with musicians, actors, dancers and many others throughout his career. In addition to playing jazz in New York clubs, Nowell ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Nowell: The Seeker

Read "The Seeker" reviewed by Chris May

It would be foolish to describe saxophonist Sean Nowell as a 21st century schizoid tenor man, but two distinct strands characterize the New York-based player's work. On the one hand, Nowell is active in funk and post-fusion styles, with the Kung-Fu Masters and his own MonAtomic groups, among other line-ups. On the other hand, he's a precociously talented straight ahead player, with a gritty and exuberant approach displaying traces of such illustrious forebears as Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane and Michael ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Sean Nowell Quintet: Firewerks

Read "Firewerks" reviewed by Phil DiPietro

Sean Nowell is a virtual unknown who became known to me virtually through the socio-musical phenomenon known as MySpace. Nowell and his quintet have succeeded at melding, morphing and mixing the best of Blue Note-era small-group nirvana with the Headhunters' pocket and vibe, evolving it to right now. This is not merely attributable to great writing and playing, but innovative arranging between the dual horn attack of tenorist Nowell and altoist Travis Sullivan, as padded and parried by Art Hirahara's ...


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