11 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The multitalented Ulysses Owens Jr. has kept time in the bands of Christian McBride and Wynton Marsalis, and he was even mentored by Mulgrew Miller. He produces albums by others as well. After his excellent but straight-down-the-middle Unanimous, Owens uses the title here as a mission statement to create something more ambitious; he does this with excellent support from bassist Ruben Rogers, pianist Christian Sands, reedist Anat Cohen, and trombonist/coproducer Michael Dease, as well as several guests. This album covers a lot of ground in the jazz idiom, ranging from the high-energy “SST” to the stately “Exodus.” Yet Owens also goes outside the jazz box with a funky version of the soul classic “People Make the World Go Round” (with vocals from newcomer Charles Turner) and later presents Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” as a jazz-trio arrangement that shoots into the stratosphere. Long an advocate of Brazilian music, Cohen (along with Owens and Rogers) takes things in a different direction on “Samba Jam,” which highlights her clarinet and Owens' versatility. Onward and upward indeed.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The multitalented Ulysses Owens Jr. has kept time in the bands of Christian McBride and Wynton Marsalis, and he was even mentored by Mulgrew Miller. He produces albums by others as well. After his excellent but straight-down-the-middle Unanimous, Owens uses the title here as a mission statement to create something more ambitious; he does this with excellent support from bassist Ruben Rogers, pianist Christian Sands, reedist Anat Cohen, and trombonist/coproducer Michael Dease, as well as several guests. This album covers a lot of ground in the jazz idiom, ranging from the high-energy “SST” to the stately “Exodus.” Yet Owens also goes outside the jazz box with a funky version of the soul classic “People Make the World Go Round” (with vocals from newcomer Charles Turner) and later presents Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” as a jazz-trio arrangement that shoots into the stratosphere. Long an advocate of Brazilian music, Cohen (along with Owens and Rogers) takes things in a different direction on “Samba Jam,” which highlights her clarinet and Owens' versatility. Onward and upward indeed.

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