Owen Howard

Time Cycles

Fresh Sound New Talent

Owen Howard (d), John O'Gallagher (as, ss), Andrew Rathbun (ts, ss), Gary Versace (p), John Hebert (b)

Reference: FSNT-272

Bar code: 8427328422727

New York-based Canadian drummer Owen Howard appears often as a side player with artists such as Tom Harrell, Kenny Werner, Joe Lovano, John Abercrombie, Michael Formanek and Dick Oates. He has toured across Canada, Europe and the United States with many groups including Sheila Jordan, Mick Goodrick, Nils Wogram, Andy Middleton and Jay Clayton, and with his own bands which have included such players as Chris Potter, Brad Shepik, Seamus Blake, Larry Grenadier, Phil Grenadier and Drew Gress. Time Cycles is his fourth album, the second one on Fresh Sound New Talent after Days Before and After, a successful collaboration with reed player Andrew Rathbun.

Howards drumming is solid and at the same time unpredictable.
- Florence Wetzel, All About Jazz

1. Derailer 9:12
2. Kalimba 1 2:23
3. Slow Day 6:44
4. Cryptic 9:26
5. Sonny-Side up 5:06
6. Kalimba 2 2:29
7. Tu-Tone Poem 5:05
8. Giant Steps 8:29
9. Quiet Peace / Piece 6:05
10. Kalimba 3 2:38

Album details

All compositions by Owen Howard, except #8 by John Coltrane, arr. Owen Howard.
Recorded at Charlestown Road Studios, Warren, NJ, August 11, 2005.

Press reviews

"There are many precedents for the drummer-led album: Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Joe Chambers, Jack DeJohnetteand that is just naming the American contingent working (generally) within the tradition. Owen Howards new album is difficult to place squarely within the oeuvre of any of the above players and that is as it should be. Across ten tracks, Howard makes a personal statement that nods in the direction of the Blakeys, Joneses and DeJohnettes but expands upon their influence, instead of aping it.
The line that intersects through Time Cycles is a multi-part theme, Kalimba, found here as the second, sixth and final tracks. It acts as a rail switch, subtly shifting the direction of the album away from the other material, which is otherwise uniformly modern swing. The Kalimbas are where Howard the rhythm maker comes to fore but not in a way that sacrifices musical cohesion for pure bombast. And even more appealingly, this switch can be thrown whenever. During the first set of last months CD release performance at New Yorks Cornelia Street Café, Kalimba 1 opened the proceedings and 2s firm beat came after two gentle originals also from the album.

The name of the album and the packaging is based on the theme of bicycles and so it is with this in mind that the listener can identify a certain roundness and smooth motion to the pieces. Here is where the influence of a cerebral player like DeJohnette can be felt even if the thematic material is more solidly anchored in post-bop forms.

Howard, ever self-effacing, is joined by a diaphanous frontline of John OGallagher and Andrew Rathbun on saxes (live the angularity of the former and romanticism of the latter were thrown into stark relief), omnipresent and omniscient pianist Gary Versace (who was replaced at the gig by Henry Hey on electric piano to drastically different effect) and the probing bass of John Hebert. A collection of some of the citys best players, all who havent forgotten how to ride a bicycle."
- By Andrey Henkin (All About Jazz).

"Inganna il brano iniziale, con landamento da classica blowin session, soggetta è vero a interessanti cambi di ritmo, ma sempre blowin session, con assoli infuocati e temperatura elevata. Ma per rimanere nei termini ciclistici evocati dal titolo si potrebbe dire che Derailer serva a farsi la gamba, a scaldare il motore per affrontare le fatiche di una tappa lunga e piena di insidie.

Ed infatti da Kalimba 1, il primo di tre inserti che utilizzano la medesima cellula melodica con funzioni di raccordo, il tracciato prende una direzione ben differente e articolata. Fatta di slow tempo dallandamento dinoccolato ma dalla vivace tensione interna, di calipso abilmente ridisegnati, di composizioni elastiche e pulsanti in grado di sorprendere continuamente lascoltatore per la varietà di situazioni proposte.

Quello che piace in Oward è la volontà di indirizzare le energie non tanto nellesibizione della propria maestria percussiva, quanto nella ricerca di una scrittura stimolante, mai scontata, e pensata per esaltare le peculiarità dei suoi musicisti, nel rispetto degli equilibri del gruppo.

Al suo quarto album da leader Howard affianca a collaboratori di vecchia data come il sassofonista Andrew Rathbun ed il bassista John Hebert, lassai interessante pianista Gary Versace e lottimo sassofonista John OGallagher. Proprio i nuovi arrivati contribuiscono ad ampliare la gamma espressiva del quintetto: Versace ha uno stile pianistico soave, incisivo e piacevolmente disposto al rischio, mentre OGallagher intreccia con Rathbun la voce autorevole dei suoi sassofoni creando impasti timbrici e armonizzazioni di grande suggestione." - Vincenzo Roggero (All About Jazz).


10,95 €  (tax incl.)

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