Owen Cordle

Owen’s Contributions


10/23/12    Albums

Big Fun(k) Live
Don Braden and Karl Latham

Big Fun(k) is a synchronized rhythm machine. Not that it sounds mechanical; rather, each player primarily emphasizes rhythm, and all the parts interconnect—drum backbeats, bass grooves, keyboard riffs and colors and (mostly) pentatonic tenor saxophone figures...


10/03/12    Albums

Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band

The Birdland Big Band is bold and brash. “We play loud and fast and we don’t dwell on the past,” leader and drummer Tommy Igoe says in the liner notes for this debut album. Igoe has rhythm in his blood. His father, Sonny Igoe, played drums in the late swing...


07/10/12    Albums

The Creep
Ted Nash

The Creep is saxophonist Ted Nash’s foray into free jazz. The instrumentation is the same as Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking quartet of 1959: alto, trumpet (Ron Horton), bass (Paul Sikivie) and drums (Ulysses Owens Jr.). But, as you would expect, the result...


03/18/12    Albums

To My Surprise
Mike Longo Trio + 2

You get the feeling in listening to Mike Longo that the pianist is always in complete control of his performances: no errant phrases, no unintended rhythms or ill-timed placement of notes, no treading water in his choruses. His playing aligns with the swinging...


02/21/12    Albums

Keep the Faith
Roger Humphries

Pittsburgh drummer Roger Humphries is perhaps best known for his three-year stint with the Horace Silver Quintet in the mid-’60s, during which the group recorded the Blue Note albums Song for My Father , The Cape Verdean Blues and The Jody Grind . Appropriately...


02/16/12    Albums

Con Brio!
Ali Ryerson

Ali Ryerson’s flute playing, Pete Levin’s arrangements and noted sidemen combine to make this album artistically satisfying as well as commercially viable. The ensemble sound is contemporary, the recording quality reminiscent of CTI label productions of...


01/05/12    Albums

Deep Blue Organ Trio

In my well-worn copy of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz , Stevie Wonder is mentioned 42 times—more than Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen or Cole Porter. It was inevitable that jazz musicians would discover Wonder. For the generation that came...


12/07/11    Albums

The Dawn of Light
Tineke Postma

Dutch alto and soprano saxophonist Tineke Postma’s playing is supple and nuanced, to the point where her tone can suggest Lee Konitz. Sometimes she flits airily from note to note and sometimes she fidgets with phrases and releases flurries of notes or tonal...


11/28/11    Albums

The Jazz Ballad Song Book
Randy Brecker with DR Big Band

This is a lush, cinematic affair with trumpet soloist Brecker backed by the 19-piece Danish Radio Big Band and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, with Michael Bojesen conducting. The charts—by band members Gerard Presencer, Vincent Nilsson and Peter...


11/21/11    Albums

Joey DeFrancesco

Owen Cordle reviews organ master Joey DeFrancesco's '40'


11/12/11    Albums

Hues of a Different Blue
Rufus Reid & Out Front

Out Front, bassist Rufus Reid’s trio with pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, is the backbone of this session, with various guests appearing on half the tracks. Among those guests are Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Toninho Horta, alto saxophonist...


10/08/11    Albums

Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1
Dr. Michael White

Here we find clarinetist Dr. Michael White blending traditional New Orleans jazz with, as he states in his liner notes, “influences and songs from diverse sources, like Africa, the Caribbean and popular music from the 1960s and ’70s.” Since Africa and the...


08/25/11    Albums

Jim Snidero Interface

As the composer of all the tunes on Interface , alto saxophonist Jim Snidero sees the album as a transition away from bebop and hard bop, he tells liner-note writer Ted Panken. There are certain “inside” ideas and certain “outside” ideas beyond straight...


08/22/11    Albums

Echo of Spring
Chuck Wilson

Alto saxophonist and clarinetist Chuck Wilson is a melody-based jazzman. You won’t hear a textbook approach to jazz—prescribed scales and patterns—dominating this album. Instead, there are swinging melodic variations and permutations galore. The company...


07/25/11    Albums

Invocations: Jazz Meets the Symphony 7
Lalo Schifrin

When Dizzy Gillespie hired Lalo Schifrin for his quintet in 1960, he set in motion for the Argentine pianist, composer and arranger a prolific international career that would cover jazz as well as classical music, film scores and, like Invocations , hybrids...


07/17/11    Albums

Son of Folk Songs for Jazzers
Frank Macchia

This record is an arranger’s dream. In addition to the usual jazz instruments, Macchia’s 14-piece group incorporates the full range of clarinets and flutes plus piccolo, English horn, melodica, baritone horn, bass trumpet, tuba and an array of mallet percussion...

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About Owen Cordle

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