ReSurgence is a genre-bending septet of highly accomplished improvising jazz musicians – each bringing their own unique sensibilities to the already eclectic compositions of Chuck Owen. Kate McGarry’s playful and luminescent voice pairs beautifully with Sara Caswell’s lyrical and often haunting violin. Both are parried by Corey Christiansen’s heartland or blues-drenched acoustic guitars and Jack Wilkins fiery saxophone while Mark Neuenschwander (bass) and Danny Gottlieb foster the groove whether funk or folk. . . swing or driving Latin.
The ensemble clearly relishes exploring the fringes in a manner that is not self-conscious but assured, heartfelt, joyful, and intimate. This is immediately apparent in their first album, “Magic Light”, slated for a mid-April 2024 release on Origin. From a playful and somewhat “greasy” re-imagining of Blood, Sweat, & Tears classic “Spinning Wheel” to an environmental prayer (Apalachicola), a politically snarky “And Your Point Is?”, and a poignant contemplation of his childhood home and its impact (Omaha), it is clear Chuck relishes this opportunity to compose & arrange for this leaner and more transparent ensemble.
While an earlier edition of ReSurgence debuted in 1998 with a short tour and appearance at the New Orleans IAJE Conference, it was only following the Jazz Surge’s 2017 release of “Whispers On the Wind”, Chuck’s deepest foray yet into the blending of jazz with American folk/roots music, that a vision for the current group took shape. Initially conceiving of ReSurgence as a means to more readily perform and tour works recorded by Surge, Chuck quickly found he couldn’t resists writing expressly for it as well. In short order, the band had its first concerts lined up (including an invitation to perform at the 2020 JEN Conference) and went into the recording studio. Shortly thereafter Covid hit. . . . and plans for the album, performances, tours, etc. were shelved.
The break, however, proved fortuitous as Chuck used the time to “tweak” the ensemble’s direction a bit. Knocking tow items off his professional bucket list – he invited Kat McGarry to join the ensemble ( Chuck had been a fan for years) and began writing lyrics for songs – both new and old alike. With a good deal of new music, the group met up again in Florida in January 2023 – performing and recording – putting the final touches on “Magic Light”.
Following an 11-day mid-west tour in Nov. of 2023 that simply reaffirmed how much this ensemble relished playing together, ReSurgence will be celebrating the release of “Magic Light” with a number of performances in 2024 – starting with a pair of spring dates in No. Carolina and followed by an extended fall tour in the Ohio/Tennessee valley region. Plans for touring in spring 2025 are also underway.