[midlife 150] #141: chris bowden “mother and daughters now mothers”

April 1, 2010

#141 Mother And Daughters Now Mothers by Chris Bowden (taken from Time Capsule, 1996)

For those that like their jazz deep. UK saxophonist/arranger Chris Bowden’s first album re-broke the ground originally ploughed (or perhaps scorched) by the likes of Sun Ra and Art Ensemble Of Chicago, but swapped revolutionary avant-gardism for an equally enveloping soulful classicism.

Mother And Daughters intertwines the ensemble’s sweeping, fluid melody with Bowden’s stuttering yet lyrical improvisation – it’s part 70s movie score, part cosmic revelation. As if abduction by a serene, benevolent alien were set to music.

Bowden’s recordings since have singularly failed to reach the heights of his debut. His follow-up, Slightly Askew, bluntly moved into soul-jazz fusion territory – the sensitivity, subtlety and clarity of Time Capsule apparently lost in the ether (though he’s lost none of his virtuosity as an improviser).

Instead its spirit has passed, in diluted form, to groups like The Heritage Orchestra (which covered this track on their self-titled album), emaciated but just alive.

This review is part of close to 94 ‘s [midlife 150] series, which counts down favourite music 1970-2009.

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