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Due Reverence by Ralph Bowen

On the wings of his 2009 Posi-Tone release Dedicated, tenor sax ace Ralph Bowen reenlists the same all-star lineup for Due Reverence. Simply stated, the saxophonist packs a mighty punch while underscoring his virtuosity with fluency and an authoritative tone. And he gets to the point, whether dishing out hyper-mode bop phrasings or easing the listener into a peppery ballad with soul-stirring intonations on the opener, "Less Is More." From this point onward, the ensemble minces fire and brimstone with sparkling medium-tempo modern mainstream jazz pieces.

Bowen soars into points unknown via his impossibly fluent and complex choruses during the melodious and oscillating composition titled This One’s For Bob (for Bob Mintzer)." Here, the all-world rhythm section sparks an oscillating pulse for Bowen and guitarist Adam Rogers’ blistering solo spots. In other areas, the saxophonist steers the band through breezy and buoyantly flowing vistas.

On the Latin/jazz-waltz inspired "Mr. Scott (for James Scott)," Bowen and trumpeter Sean Jones trade vibrant fours while defining the primary melody with popping unison notes. The final work "Points Encountered (for Robert Dick)," is a warmly paced, medium groove swing vamp, spiced by Rogers’ animated and briskly executed solo.

The album clocks in at forty-minutes or so, and Bowen doesn’t feel obligated to max out a CD’s approx. 80-minutes worth of data capacity with sub-par material. Each composition stands on its own and sustains recurring interest. Quality supremely triumphs over quantity throughout this high-caliber exposition, spawned by Bowen’s all-encompassing artistry and his venerable band-mates' striking support.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ralph Bowen
  • CD Title: Due Reverence
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2010
  • Record Label: Posi-Tone
  • Musicians: Ralph Bowen (tenor saxophone), Sean Jones (trumpet), Adam Rogers (guitar), John Patitucci (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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