Wednesday night presents a rare chance to see a supergroup lineup of great area musicians for the release of saxophonist Charles Owens’ new quartet CD “Golden Moments" [La Reserve Records].
The recording is something of a departure. For the past decade, Charles Owens has fronted a trio backed by drummer Devonne Harris and bassist Andrew Jay Randazzo, both of whom started to play with him before breaking through with Butcher Brown. Randazzo is still the foundation of the new lineup, but Charlottesville’s Brian Caputo crisply handles the drumming and anchors the new lineup, and Daniel Clarke plays keys.
A chordless trio- the form pioneered by Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson- is an intimate high wire act but Owens and crew made it look deceptively easy. The addition of piano opens up new harmonic landscapes. Clarke, who has toured with popular musicians including Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, and was musical director for k.d. lang, is a perfect complement, always keeping an element of humorous surprise in his solos and deeply sympathetic in support.
The album is a cleverly selected series of covers of popular songs, ranging from the Spinners and Supertramp to Bert Bacharach and Cole Porter, stopping by the Beatles “Here, There, and Everywhere” on the way. Part of the pleasure of this music is seeing how familiar material can be reimagined and revitalized by adept improvisors.
This is a fine recording, but it may be even better live.
The record release show is Wednesday, Nov.16 from 7-9 pm at Common House, 303 West Broad St. There will be drinks and food available for purchase from Common House but there is no cover for this event.