161

Astrid Cowan: Swing Team

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
What we know for certain is that Astrid Cowan was born in Detroit, studied piano for some time in San Francisco, now lives in the Los Angeles area, and is an accomplished mainstream player whose virile two–handed technique and propensity to swing at any speed are remindful of McCoy Tyner, Gene Harris and other modernists from Monty Alexander to James Williams. We know too that Cowan is a perceptive writer, as she shows with her three sparkling compositions on Swing Team — “Thursday Night at Pasquales,” “Salida del Sol” and “Silver’s Sox.” The rest of the material on Cowan’s admirable debut album is high–grade as well with three standards (“I’ve Got the World on a String,” “I Love You,” “How Deep Is the Ocean”) rubbing shoulders with Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” and Thad Jones’s tenderhearted ballad, “A Child Is Born.” Cowan’s “swing team” is reliable but not overbearing, which is exactly what any pianist needs and wants. Simon, who has a couple of albums under his belt as leader, provides an especially broad shoulder on which to lean, laying down the rhythmic pulse with metronomic efficiency. Rusch, who is present on all but “Pasquales” and the bossa “Salida del Sol,” is a trustworthy if derivative soloist, while Berman’s mellow guitar adds weight and color to the group dynamic. Cowan, meanwhile, proves convincingly that she is a first–rate Jazz pianist; her main roadblocks on the road to success are the many other exemplary keyboardists, most of whom are better known than she, in what seems to be an ever–widening circle. At least her talents are now a matter of “record,” so perhaps fortune may smile on her. We can hope so, anyway.

Track listing: Thursday Night at Pasquales; I’ve Got the World on a String; Salida del Sol; Billie’s Bounce; A Child Is Born; Silver’s Sox; I Love You; How Deep Is the Ocean (59:06).

Personnel:

Astrid Cowan, piano; Jerry Rusch, trumpet, flugelhorn; Ron Berman, guitar; Richard Simon, bass; Chris Wabich, drums.

Contact: Astron Records, P.O. Box 4985, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

| Record Label: Astron Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Rumi Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Rumi Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Occasional Poems" CD/LP/Track Review Occasional Poems
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Time Is Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Time Is Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Elevation" CD/LP/Track Review Elevation
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 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!