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Ralph Bowen “Total Eclipse” get a nice review…
With Total Eclipse, saxophonist Ralph Bowen offers his fans a program that covers a broad spectrum of styles and sounds. Bowen wrote nine songs for the recording which features accompanists Jared Gold on organ, Mike Moreno on guitar and Rudy Royston on drums. Bowen masters the complexity of sustaining his listeners’ interest with his top-to-bottom command of the tenor saxophone, important improvisations and great soloing from his bandmates. So that you can fully enjoy his version of jazz, Ralph Bowen mixes things up with several fascinating styles – from straight ahead to bebop to swing.  The title track opens the set and from beginning to end, listeners are in for a real treat. The band supports Bowen’s dramatic composition and burnished sound with technical precision that only comes from years of experience and the study of their craft.  Jared Gold’s organ solo is well-placed and as funky as he wants to be! This song is a winner. On “Into The City” you’ll hear him at his best with solid hard, blowing that shows the depths of his artistry. On “The Dowsing Rod,” his soprano saxophone depicts the title’s subject before Mike Moreno adds his guitar visions via a beautiful solo. Overall, the entire recording meets the standards set by Ralph Bowen’s previous releases and he has definitely reached new heights with Total Eclipse. Buy the CD today.
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Some nice coverage for Ralph Bowen on SaxShed…

Heads up readers! Ralph Bowen has done it again. You can check out the newest release “Total Eclipse” from Posi-tone Records on May 29, 2012.

The press release below tells a bit about Ralph’s newest release “Total Eclipse”:

“Saxophonist Ralph Bowen reaches for new vistas andsu rpasses himself with his latest release “Total Eclipse.” Bowen plays with remarkable technical precision and a manifest knowledge of his materials. His sound is hard and extraordinarily well-centered, his articulation sharp, and his command of the tenor saxophone complete. Nevertheless, the depth of his artistry is considerable. Ralph Bowen is as substantial a musician as jazz has ever produced. The musical program covers a wide spectrum of styles and sounds when Bowen’s brilliant original compositions are presented with the able assistance of a solid group of sidemen, including organist Jared Gold, guitarist Mike Moreno, and drummer Rudy Royston. Jazz fans everywhere will swing with intense delight as Bowen soars to new heights with “Total Eclipse.”

Track List
1. Total Eclipse
2. Behind The Curtain
3. Into The City
4. The Dowsing Rod
5. On Green
6. Arrows Of Light
7. Exosphere
8. Hip Check
9. In My Dreams

Do yourself a favor and pre-order this if you can. As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Ralph Bowen’s playing. The preview copy I am listening to at the moment is burning. You only need to listen to Hip Check at 1:30 to appreciate what a wonderful technician Ralph is – a true modern virtuoso.

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A couple of new reviews for Orrin Evans and Ralph Bowen….

ORRIN EVANS/Flip the Script: With a new trio, Evans plays piano like it’s a bebop instrument using it to anchor a straight ahead date with a lot of modern jazz overtones. Left leaning but not from the church basement, this is seasoned, high octane piano trio music that goes from racket to joyful noise to pulse pounding. Sitting down jazz for those not afraid to push the pedal to the metal, it’s loaded with the stuff hipsters should really be appreciating instead of images of what they are appreciating. Hot stuff.

RALPH BOWEN/Total Eclipse: The kind of New York sax man that’s a jazzbo’s jazzbo, he’s a real player that doesn’t show up to mess around. His third for the label finds him continuing to consolidate his position at the head of the class. A straight up, straight ahead date that’s in the tradition and in the pocket, there’s some serious playing here that’s going to grab you by the ear and not let go. Well done

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Critical Jazz reviews Ralph Bowen “Total Eclipse”…

Swing is rhythmic feel or groove created by the musical interaction or chemistry between the performers. Swing or this “groove” manifests itself in a visceral response essentially music your feel with your hips and feel with your feet.
With a total solar eclipse the Sun’s corona can be seen shining in all directions around the moon. This glimpse of the corona is breathtaking as this is the only time the corona can be seen.
While this somewhat academic explanation may seem odd as applied to Ralph Bowen’s Total Eclipse allow the idea of Bowen as the celestial body and his first call trio that passes through this release as the breathtaking corona that highlights the intense swing of Ralph Bowen.

There are a million tenor players in the naked city with many having the ability to play the notes but not make the music. Bowen is a master technician who blows with the precision of a surgeon while drawing an intense lyrical swing from a visceral place most players can play thirty years and still not find. Shying away from the word “sidemen” we have Jared Gold on organ who is the perfect musical visionary for his role on this or virtually any other recording I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Mike Moreno adds texture and swagger to an ensemble that are far more than just a handful of some of the better “sidemen” you can find. Moreno may well be the equivalent of sonic glue in bringing the rhythm section together. Rudy Royston is perhaps one of the most underrated drummers working the scene today. If Royston is on a release the rhythm section will be tight and the pocket will be held firmly in hand by Royston.

Opening with the title track “Total Eclipse” the straight ahead power of Bowen will hit you right between the eyes. A hard edged lyrical sense of purpose as the groove laid down by the ensemble and especially the first rate solo turned in by Gold is a thing of beauty. Seemingly working without a harmonic net this 4tet goes for it and takes no prisoners. A release of all originals can be somewhat of a musical roll of the dice but not for Bowen whose tunes can take one make to the days of Blue Note and Impulse which was when real swing was king. Posi-Tone can lay claim to a huge chunk of that crown now. The somewhat soulful ballad oriented “The Dowsing Rod” differs totally in style. While the lyrical drive is never absent the intensity is transferred nicely to a tune that showcases Bowen’s versatility not only in compositions that can go slightly more post bop influenced but in his mastery of improvisational consistency that is seldom heard. Moreno clean single note runs move deftly in and out of a tune that develops its own organic pulse and finds a musical happy place between post bop and modern jazz. “Hip Check” has Royston checking in with an opening solo that is more of an instructional guide or masterclass for those with drumming aspirations. Bowen is on fire with an improvisational firepower most tenor players struggle to pull off with this kind of intensity and direction.

While there is no doubt Ralph Bowen can swing like a beast perhaps the most captivating aspect of Total Eclipse is the variety and texture. Taking a sonic page from the ECM playbook there is an ebb and flow that allows this release to give up a little something new with each subsequent spin of disc. This is not a release for the jazz faint of heart. This is meat and potatoes swing that you can sink your teeth into. At times Total Eclipse is the perfect example of controlled sonic fury. My sincere hope this is not the last we have heard from this particular 4tet. A swing that is hard, honest and with a strong sense of lyrical direction this my friends is what swing is all about!

5 Stars

Tracks: Total Eclipse; Behind The Curtain; Into The City; The Dowsing Rod; On Green; Arrows Of The Light; Exosphere; Hip Check; In My Dreams.

Personnel: Ralph Bowen: saxophone; Jared Gold: organ; Mike Moreno: guitar; Rudy Royston: drums.

Check out these links for more information including the possibility of pre-ordering the new release.