CD: Jimmy Owens

Jimmy Owens, The Monk Project (IPO)

In this Thelonious Monk tribute, trumpeter Owens’ septet includes pianist Kenny Barron, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland and low-register specialist Howard Johnson on tuba and baritone sax. Kenny Davis is the bassist, Winard Harper the drummer. There are good solos throughout, but the stars of the album are Owens’ conceptions of the tunes, and his arrangements. He brings freshness through textures and tempos. Among the surprises: a Latin approach to “Well You Needn’t,” “Let’s Cool One” as a waltz and “Brilliant Corners” alternating between a crawl and a blues-inflected march

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  1. John Birchard says

    Jimmy Owens is one of those veteran musicians who richly deserves greater recognition. I recall seeing Jimmy at Newport back in the 60s, when he was part of a collection of top trumpet players – Dizzy, Howard McGhee, Bobby Hackett, etc. When it came time for JImmy to solo, he lifted his old rotary-valve fluegelhorn and blew a solo that had the other horn players’ heads turning and the afternoon Newport audience paying attention for a change. I hope your note on The Monk Project helps. I’ll do my bit and buy one. How about your other visitors?