Release date: June 2nd 2009
Availability: CD, MP3 Download
Canadian tenor sax player Ralph Bowen is less well-known than his distinguished pedigree deserves. In 1985 he became part of the Blue Note group 'Out Of The Blue' that produced four (now deleted) albums and (in its various incarnations) also featured Renee Rosnes and Bill Drummond. Then he spent three years with the Horace Silver group. In recent years he has produced excellent albums for the obscurantist Criss Cross label and now teaches jazz at Rutgers University and gigs regularly in Philadelphia and New York.
Photo credit: Ella Hilton
That pedigree has allowed him to assemble for this Posi-Tone album a truly outstanding quintet - Ralph Bowen (tenor sax), Sean Jones (trumpet), Adam Rogers (guitar), John Patitucci (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums).
The music is straight ahead post bop played with flare and precision. Ralph Bowen's tenor sax playing is the main centre. But it is interesting to hear Adam Rogers playing in a setting so different from his own more rhythmically complex work as leader and to pick up on the out and out quality of John Patitucci and Antonio Sanchez's restrained contributions.
The title of the album refers to the fact that each track is dedicated to someone important in Ralph Bowen's development: 'Canary Drums' (for Keith Blackley); 'Pat' (for Pat LaBarbera); 'Qaiyam' (for Jim Blackley); 'Mr. Bebop' (for David N. Baker); 'Prof' (for William Fielder); 'E.R.' (for Eugene Rousseau).
Most notable of these influences is sax player Pat LaBarbera who has done so much to develop jazz in Canada, with whom Ralph Bowen studied for eight years.
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