Cowan, Scott / Jack's Place
Album: Jack's Place   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Cowan, Scott   Added:May 2012
Label:Blujazz Productions  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2012-10-05 Pull Date: 2012-12-07 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Nov 25 Nov 11 Nov 4 Oct 28 Oct 21 Oct 14
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 1 3

Recent Airplay
1. Nov 20, 2012: Rebop
Jack's Place
4. Oct 27, 2012: Music Casserole
2. Nov 06, 2012: Rebop
Moch One
5. Oct 16, 2012: Rebop
Popsicles, Taffy And Donuts
3. Oct 30, 2012: Rebop
My Elizabeth
6. Oct 12, 2012: No Cover, No Minimum
Moch One

Album Review
librae jackson
Reviewed 2012-09-20
Scott Cowan/ “Jack’s Place”/BluJazz

Jack’s Place is a collection of new sounds from renowned trumpeter, award winning composer and esteemed Western Michigan University professor, Scott Cowan. The project is concise, poised and masterfully executed. Also notable is the fact that it’s full of original compositions, all written by Cowan, himself. This album could very well seal his status as one of the premier jazz composers of the modern era. These songs will show that the originality of his writing is highlighted by the skillfulness of his trumpeting. On this project, Cowan is accompanied by adept additional personnel on piano, percussion, acoustic bass, trombone and tenor & baritone saxes (all making significant contributions via extraordinary collective arrangements and outstanding solos).

Recommended: 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1. Jack’s Place (5:02)
Fitting title, as the venue of sound is immediately pleasant and accommodating, causing the listener to feel right at home, as a welcomed guest. Traditional, yet comfortable jazz sound, with a very nice swing.

2. Popsicles, Taffy and Donuts (6:34)
Another fitting title, as the mellow tone here makes it a very sweet treat. Laid back swing, reminiscent of Miles’ “Walkin,” but with its own unique path to stroll.

3. Dayacks (8:14)
Begins with a stellar, semi-tribal percussion arrangement, wherein the destination is unpredictable, at first. (Funk? Afrobeat?) But then, as the rimshot kicks in, one can quickly tell that this is some straight ahead jazz. The piano leads the way, and the horns soon follow the groove. Nice horn arrangements, with a beautiful complexity at 0:57-1:10. There’s a brief dip in tempo at 1:32, where it appears that the song would slow down into a formal affair. But soon enough, the tempo reappears, and the groove reestablishes its immense force. There’s another dip at 3:30, highlighting the piano’s delicate tones, until it picks up again, and rides full force into a great sax solo at 5:28. The resounding theme throughout is revisited in a triumphant crescendo which brings it to a close at 7:34-8:14.

4. Narnian Knight (10:41)
A reference to one of Cowan’s previous works, which paid tribute to the Chronicles of Narnia, this song consists of a regal intro, where the horns and percussion call for attention. The pianist then introduces the groove, which immediately slides into a Latin bop, of sorts. Like a knight, the song is equally fierce and dignified. The work of the horn section is intricate and pleasing to the ears. Scott Cowan’s trumpet solo at 3:12 is wonderful.

5. My Elizabeth (5:22)
Slow, soothing ballad, where the lyricism of Scott Cowan’s trumpet is the focal point, backed by a relaxing soundbed of delicate piano, light drumming and splendid acoustic bass. Beautiful bass solo at 3:05.

6. Moch One (5:26)
Vigorous drum opening, with punctual piano riffs to match. Horn section accompanies the frenetic energy with a suitable arrangement. Crafty saxophone work at 0:56, leading into a nimble piano solo at 1:56. Cowan’s trumpet takes the cool baton at 2:53 and runs like the wind, before handing it to the bassist at 3:51. Very versatile track.

7. Reflection (7:51)
Standout track. Opens with a steady piano riff, followed by a wonderful horn arrangement, which serve well to introduce the listener to a stellar piece of music, throughout. The horn section offers a very special treat at 4:58, with amazingly proficient syncopation. At 6:24, the pianist does a great job of keeping the groove in place, for the exuberant drum solo. Song ends abruptly at 7:45.

8. You Ole’ Cracker (4:48)
The comedic value of the title can be grasped from the song’s “boogie woogie” feel. Uptempo swing circa late 40’s, early 50’s.

9. Aslan’s Act (6:04)
Very slow, thoughtful ballad. This is another song that references Cowan’s previous works, based on the Chronicles of Narnia. The title calls to mind the majestic lion of the novel series, which can be heard in the music. However, compared to the rest of the album, it may seem a bit dull.

10. Kazoo Boogaloo (5:37)
This song’s high intensity makes it a suitable follow up to the solemnity of the previous track. In the opening, the drummer immediately goes for his, paving a steady road for the others to embark upon. While the funky drumming is consistent, the track takes a groovy turn, giving it a sound that’s reminiscent of early 60’s movie or TV themes.

11. A Little Blues for a Little One (8:57)
A little blues, indeed. As the title indicates, this one has a standard bluesy feel. The dexterous trumpet, piano and bass solos make this a nice ode to the genre.

- Librae Jackson (brother brae)

Track Listing
1. Jack's Place   6. Moch One
2. Popsicles, Taffy And Donuts   7. Reflection
3. Dayacks   8. You Ole' Cracker
4. Narnian Knight   9. Aslan's Act
5. My Elizabeth   10. Kazoo Boogaloo
  11. A Little Blues For A Little One