Chuck Owen
What Others Have Said

…about Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge

“For more quotes and complete reviews visit, Media-Reviews

River Runs

“Chuck Owen’s RIVER RUNS, is a tour de force in contemporary orchestral composition that conveys his musical ideas with immense dynamic clarity.  This exquisitely produced recording defies categorization, as it is a synthesis of musical concepts woven into a luscious tapestry that intrigues and satisfies.  BRAVO!”…Rufus Reid

“Copland-esque in scope, suitable as a score for an epic Hollywood movie, Chuck Owen has created an incredibly colorful portrait of a part of America’s natural beauty, specifically rivers that he has rafted or canoed on. This concerto is on a grand scale with the solo voices of Jack Wilkins (tenor sax) and LaRue Nickelson (guitar) soaring throughout. The music is visceral…you can feel the power and majesty of these natural settings with all the sections (each named for a river) evoking a singular mood.”…Dave Liebman

“River Runs deep, free-flowing into cross-currents, but always moving forward towards it’s destination, which is an Ocean of Melody, Sound and Soul.”…Randy Brecker

“Pure joyful sounds. Harmony that lives up to the word. Jazz has never sounded better.”…Bob Belden

LaRue 2

Comet’s Tail

”The Comet’s Tail” is incredible, fantastic, and a true masterpiece of music.  There simply are not enough superlatives to describe it.  Mike Stern’s guitar work is masterful, understated, and carefully articulated.  Rob Thomas’ violin work at times evokes both Ponty and Grapelli.  This is one of those truly unique recordings that is perfectly composed, arranged, conducted, and engineered.  This is not only one of the better big band recordings I have ever heard but it is also one of the best recordings I have ever heard ever.”…Blues Alley, Washington, DC, Harry Schnipper, Exec. Director, Oct. 2009

I just finished listening to “the Comet’s Tail”, The Jazz Surge’s brilliant tribute to Michael Brecker. Throughout my 27 years at WBGO, quite a few “tribute” records have come across my desk.  I have to tell you “Comet’s Tail” is certainly one of the finest, capturing the spirit, passion, brilliance and magnificent compositions we all enjoyed through Michael’s genius.  An extremely well told tale of this comet!…WBGO, Gary Walker, Aug. 2009

Jazz Masterworks Series with Chick Corea

Chick Corea performing with the Jazz Surge

Chick Corea performing with the Jazz Surge

“One of the Top 5 Concerts (any genre) in Orlando in 2007. (Chick) Corea’s performance with the big band was a free-wheeling combination of the pianist’s fleet-fingered solos and the band’s mood and muscle.”Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 2007

Here We Are

“The band’s boldest statement yet.” …Philip Booth, Feb. 2004

“…engages the mind as well as the heart.” …Cadence, Jack Bowers, Nov. 2004

“Owen’s inspirational creativity is mined with exceptional musical values and results.” …Jazz Educators Journal, Herb Wong, 2004

“. . . .an imaginatively conceived exploration of the landscape of large jazz ensemble music. . . .Going that extra mile to demonstrate that cliché free ensemble writing enhanced by imaginative soloing by kindred spirits can produce an emotional entity that will thrill, excite, and expand your perception of the big band.” …Mainly Big Bands, J.R. Killoch, Dec. 2004


“. . . .ambitious, forward-thinking compositions.”… Downbeat, Philip Booth, Jan. 2002

“Chuck Owen . . .leads the Surge through a set that looks forward. . . . . . . .a bravura performance.” …Tampa Tribune, Curtis Ross, Aug. 10, 2001

“. . . .a progressive big band playing at its finest.” …All About Jazz, Dave Nathan, Aug. 2001

“Owen knows all about hijinks, mayhem, and fun. Madcap consists of . . .knockouts.” …St. Petersburg Times, Gina Vivinetto, May 2001

“This is the kind of record one returns to with increasing pleasure.”…CD Pick of the Week. Monterey County Post, Johnny Adams, April 2001

“Owen never loses his lyrical sense . . . .it never stops swinging!”…Mainly Big Bands, J.R. Killoch, Feb. 2001

Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge

One of the top 5 CDs of 1996!…Jazz Times, David Franklin

Owen recalls, “Thad at his most colorful and playful.”…JazzTimes, Owen Cordle, Nov. 1996

“Owen paints with intriguing hues . . . . .refreshes with lyrical lines and hues . . . .(and) is suffused with some of the tastiest contemporary sounds around.”…Jazz Educators Journal, Herb Wong, Sept. 1996

“. . .it steadily builds momentum . . .(until) the ensemble lets out all the stops to bring the session to a thunderous climax. A superb big band. . . . “…Cadence, Jack Bowers, July 1996

“Owen manages to balance the finesse of his arrangements with . .bop outbursts. A smouldering big band date.”…Jazz Journal, David Lands, April 1996