VIDEO: Thad Jones Mel Lewis Orchestra “Live in Munich”
Harold Danko p
Robert Bowman b
Mel Lewis dr
Earl Mc Intire
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MUSINGS IN Cb: “Bob Bowman – an Appreciation”
I had the pleasure of playing with Bob Bowman a couple of times since returning home to be based out of my native Kansas City metro. It was beyond great each time. I guess that is the case each time I have ever performed with a true master musician in any context.
So often, the trend today in jazz music is to herald the up and coming, the promising phenomenon to be, and do so incessantly – almost to the point of being ridiculous. I am of a different mindset and from a generation where we truly honored the masters who are still among us, in addition to showing respect to departed masters. Well known and less known alike.
The state of jazz education and access in our times is great. In our times, if you are a junior high or high school jazz student and can’t play coherent improv solos on the changes to “Blue Bossa”, something is wrong with you because there are so many free resources and clinics to show you how. The same thing with any cycle that involves the ii7 – V7 – I cadence.
I appreciate the promise of young artists and do my best to encourage and support this next generation at all opportunity. Watching someone grow is usually an enjoyable proposition in and of itself. So, that is not the issue here. Keep killin’ it jazz kidz! But, growing into one’s own and being a grown up artist are different conditions. Both good, but two different bottles of wine.
I just have a problem sometimes with those who cover and support the music and its various scenes in the media most of the time. Music at the level I am speaking of (any genre) is ultimately about mastery of technical skills/materials and the development of one’s own unique artistry.
Such true artistry is ultimately a curriculum vitae that encompasses all aspects of human life. Life inspires art. Art reflects life. Life is a variety of experiences and events. The more life, the more nuanced the art. I have lived long enough to see this manifested many times, in many people, to know this to be a truth.
We are living at a major time in jazz muse. There is a generation paradigm shift happening now. Beyond established stars like, Bobby Watson and Karrin Allyson, the new masters among us are also artists like Deborah Brown, Bob Bowman, Will Matthews, Rod Fleeman and many other Kansas City scene musicians who are not always obviously associated with what makes the depth of field here so impressive.
I enjoy reading of the next crew of “Young Lions and Lionesses” coming onto the jazz scene. I am just asking for balance.
So, in our quest to further this music through media coverage, it would be cool to see the “Lions and Lionesses” mentioned more regularly too.
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BOB BOWMAN learned to play the piano and clarinet before beginning bass lessons at age 12. He quickly became an award-winning performer. He won a scholarship to the Stan Kenton Jazz Clinic as a high school freshman, followed by study at North Texas State University.
In 1976, he joined the famous Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, touring and recording several albums, including the Grammy award-winning “Live at Munich.” Bob continued his performing and recording career by joining the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin Big Band in Los Angeles in 1979. He recorded numerous albums as a member of this band, many of which were nominated for Grammy Awards.
While based in Los Angeles, Bob toured with the legendary Carmen McRae and performed with Freddie Hubbard, Bud Shank and others. Bob moved to Kansas City in 1988 where he has been a vibrant part of the jazz scene there. He is a member of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Faculty Jazztet, and leads the Interstring Quartet. Bob continues to tour and record with jazz artist Karrin Allyson and teaches many workshops.
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Wikipedia – THAD JONES MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA “LIVE IN MUNICH”