Owen Cordle

Owen’s Contributions


June 2008    Albums

Everything Starts Now
Michael Pedicin

This is Philadelphia tenor saxophonist (and psychologist) Pedicin’s seventh album. The music, with his year-old quintet, is ensemble-oriented and contemporary. Pedicin’s big tone and muscular lines can evoke John Coltrane and Michael Brecker, but there are...


June 2008    Albums

Strike Up the Band
Dave Stryker

For fans accustomed to Stryker’s guitar work with alto saxophonist Steve Slagle, this 2003 quartet session with pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Andy McKee and drummer Billy Hart may prove slightly more introspective. A fine album, it catches Stryker building...


December 2007    Albums

Steve Marcus Project
Steve Marcus Project

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Steve Marcus (1939-2005) died before this album, begun in 2003, was completed. A quartet date with guitarist Bill Bickford, bassist Rick Petrone and drummer Joe Corsello, it is filled out with a couple of tracks recorded by...


November 2007    Albums

Live at the Kennedy Center
Rufus Reid

This set by Reid’s quintet contains not only a CD but also a companion DVD with an extra performance and a lengthy interview with the leader. “I have been given a gift,” Reid says, and he speaks of new life as a composer. His career (as bassist for Eddie...


October 2007    Albums

A Night in the Life: Live at the Jazz Standard, Vol. 3
Frank Morgan

If you think you’ve heard these half-dozen bebop standards too many times before, reconnect via Frank Morgan’s jubilant alto saxophone expression, nimble lines and personal approach to the changes. There are lessons to be learned throughout this 2003 set...


October 2007    Albums

A Whole New Ballgame
Boots Randolph

Did a young Bennie Wallace listen to Boots Randolph? A Nashville to Chattanooga connection, perhaps? Maybe not, but there are tonal shadings, attacks and phrasing throughout this album that recall Wallace, albeit not as exaggerated as the latter. This thought...


October 2007    Albums

Daybreak-Lyrical Jazz
Al Gallodoro

If Al Gallodoro’s name isn’t familiar, endorsements by Jimmy Dorsey (“The best saxophone player that ever lived”), Benny Golson (“This guy from the past turned me upside down”), Paquito D’Rivera, Buddy DeFranco and Eddie Daniels should pique your interest...


July/August 2007    Albums

The Joker
Bob Rockwell

The ’60s appears to be the era that most influenced American tenor man Bob Rockwell, as evidenced by his titling this album after “The Joker,” a tune by Lee Morgan from his 1964 Blue Note album Search for the New Land. Rockwell, who has lived in Copenhagen...


July/August 2007    Albums

Jerome Sabbagh

Sabbagh, who was born in Paris and moved to the United States at age 20 to study at Berklee, is a refreshing, cliché-free young tenor and soprano saxophonist. In this, his second album as a leader and one including only his compositions, he creates moods...


July/August 2007    Albums

Analog Man
Ernie Watts

The title refers to Watts’ saying, “I’m an analog man in a digital world.” Well, if we’re talking the absence of electronic instruments on this album, the statement is true. But if we’re talking antiquated saxophony, forget it. The tenor and soprano man...


June 2007    Albums

Up & Running
John Fedchock New York Big Band

One thinks of John Fedchock equally as a trombonist and an arranger. The dual role goes back to his days with the Woody Herman band (1980 until Herman’s death in 1987), when he was section trombonist, soloist and chief arranger—plus musical director. With...


June 2007    Albums

Frank Macchia

When he was 15, Frank Macchia heard Focus, the famous Stan Getz album with string arrangements by Eddie Sauter. Thirty years later, it’s the inspiration behind this album, which features the Prague Orchestra. Macchia plays tenor saxophone—and on one track...


May 2007    Albums

Jed Levy

New York tenor saxophonist Levy combines instrumental technique akin to John Coltrane and Michael Brecker with a cooler emotional delivery reminiscent of Rich Perry and a certain compositional obliqueness that recalls Wayne Shorter. He certainly knows all...


May 2007    Albums

David “Fathead” Newman

David “Fathead” Newman, known for his gritty, Texas tenor solos with the Ray Charles band of the 1950s and ’60s, is also a compelling, sexy ballad player, as this album, his eighth for HighNote, reiterates. He begins the album with Neal Hefti’s “Girl Talk...


May 2007    Albums

Rich Perry & Harold Danko

Tenor saxophonist Perry and pianist Danko go back to the late 1970s together, when they were members of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. They have recorded together often since then, and their rapport is evident again throughout this album of duets. Focusing...


May 2007    Albums

Man Out of Time
Reginald R. Robinson

This is the fourth album by ragtime pianist and composer Robinson, who received a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2004. Jazz historians generally agree that ragtime is not jazz per se but that its syncopation influenced early jazz. One does not have to argue...

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About Owen Cordle

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