Charles Owens quartet
Wurlitzer Elec. Piano
Tenor Saxophonist Charles Owens is back in the mix, this time with a new twist. He dropped into Montrose Studios with his RVA compadres Devonne Harris, Andrew Randazzo, and Kelli Strawbridge to record AS ONE on 2 inch tape. Electric bass and piano mark a new turn, with six recognizable covers and two original tracks. This is the feel of finely tuned friends creating music together for the sake of beauty. Charles knows his horn, and the powerful groove of Randazzo and Strawbridge give him the time to play, with Devonne Harris dropping signature accents on the Wurlitzer. We get the feel of a (very) chill 70's Jazz lounge, with the jukebox glowing on a Saturday night.
"This record marks several “firsts” for me. First one with electric bass, first one with electric piano, first one with almost no walking bass lines.This electric quartet had its nucleus when I first heard Kelli play drums. I was immediately hooked. He plays with dynamics, and soul. He listens, and can play intensely without over powering. His time is great and he gets wonderful tones from his instruments. So much excellence… Devonne and Andy are back with for this record except now Andy is on electric bass (his true love!) Andy’s playing is so free and beautiful. He adds so much to the sound and arrangements of the music here. Is there ANYTHING better than having a killin' bass player in your band? I don’t know. Then the genius that is Devonne is now playing keyboards instead of drums. Anyone who knows Devonne is aware of all the instruments he plays so very well. Ever since I met him in 2010 he’s been a powerful musical force in my life.
The album consists of 6 covers and 2 originals. The covers all have significance in my childhood and adolescence. Everyone has certain songs that help them through hard times and these songs did just that for me. As for the two originals, “Losing Victory” was written while in my mid 20s for my now wonderful wife of almost 15 years, Vijay. I love you Vijay! As One is one of my newest compositions and is inspired by all the great musicians I know and have known. We are all As One with Music.
Special thanks must go to Adrian Olsen at Montrose Recording in Richmond. I first heard about Adrian and Montrose through Devonne and Andy. They’d been talking about this amazing studio with an original Flickinger Console from 1968. Once I heard some music that was recorded there I knew I had to do it. I wanted this to be the kind of record you can relax to. I wanted it to sound so fat and warm that it would make any system sound better. Adrian really achieved that and I’m so grateful to him. Go to montroserecording.com for more info about that wonderful place.
Thank you for listening to this music. I hope it always has a place in your heart."
About Charles owens
Charles Owens is an Award winning Tenor Saxophonist, composer, band leader, Ropeadope Recording Artist, and educator and has been performing, composing, and teaching professionally for over 20 years. He's a veteran of the New York City jazz scene where he regularly performs at world famous clubs such as Smalls, The Blue Note, and Birdland, to name a few. He has made 6 albums as a leader and appeared on numerous recordings as a hired soloist. He's performed with such jazz luminaries as Mark Turner, Brad Mehldau, Omer Avital, Jason Linder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brian Blade, Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Jeff Watts, Sam Yahel, and Joel Frahm and many others. He has devoted his life to pursuing excellence in the beloved art form known as Jazz.
Currently living in Charlottesville, VA, he is an integral part of the vibrant music scene there and in nearby Richmond VA. Charles also travels to NYC 4 times a year to play at the world famous Smalls Jazz Club with his trio and quartet.