On Sept. 17th, the Jazz Surge released it’s 7th album in tandem with celebrating its 25th anniversary. Recorded in May of 2021 while just emerging from the isolation of Covid, “Within Us” (Summit/MAMA Records) has been greeted with wide-spread accolades:
“It kills—brimming with a vivid array of colors (including violin and dobro) and shifting dynamics. . . . . at once challenging and eminently listenable, . . . .a seamless stream of grabby melodies and solos.” Eric Snider, Creative Loafing
“Chuck Owen is a master in delineating rhythmically and timbrically compelling arrangements, where the orchestral dynamics leave continuous spaces for the relationship with the soloists.” Angelo Leonardi, All About Jazz, Italia
“Nothing, not even a pandemic that silenced and stupefied most artists into submission, could tamp down Owen and his ensemble’s cinematic majesty. If you listen closely, you can hear Chuck Owen’s heart and soul.” Carol Banks Weber, Festival Peak
“If you love big bands then this is for you. If you don’t love big bands then this is even more so for you.” Lance, Be-bop Spoken Here
“The gold standard for their silver anniversary.” George Harris, Jazz Weekly
“Within Us” is a gem.” Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
“Owen is revealed as one who well versed in both jazz and classical modes producing music of considerable finesse, rich in detail and harmonic sophistication, at turns powerfully exultant, sharp, incisive and evocatively elegiac in both the articulation of his themes and in support of the soloists. . . . . . . an heir to Ellington and Gil Evans.” Euan Dixon, Jazz Views
Delighted to announce that the Jazz Surge will be returning to New York for the first time in over 10 years; making their debut at the world-renown Birdland Jazz Club. Combination CD Release party as well as 25th Anniversary celebration the set is slated for Sunday, Sept. 26th at 5:00 PM. Tickets are available via: https://birdlandjazz.com/calendar/list/?tribe-bar-search=Chuck+Owen Pretty great way to catch the Surge. . . . . and hear much of the new album project live. Join us!!!!
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Jazz Surge, “Within Us” is to be released on Sept. 17th 2021!! Maybe it was just the opportunity to finally come together in the studio after the 15-month isolation of Covid; but, boy, does this project feel special!! Almost everyone that contributed to 2017’s “Whispers on the Wind” (nominated for 4 Grammys!) is back. But this year we’re also joined by the wonderful saxophonist, Steve Wilson, as well as Warren Wolf on vibes!!
Support the Surge by taking advantage of several pre-release specials including CDs, Digital Downloads, Charts, Scores . . . and, new this year . . . . .
You’re Invited!! – “Within Us” Online Meet & Greets
Tues., Aug. 31st 7:30-9:00 PM (EST) – CD Release Celebration!BYOC (Champagne!) and Join Chuck and other Surge members in an online celebration of the Surge’s 25th Anniversary and the release of “Within Us”, including:
- A preview of cuts from the CD along with Chuck’s reflections on their inspiration
- Behind the scenes glimpses of the recording and compositional process
- Reminiscences of highlights (and lowlights!) of Surge’s 25 years.
- Video -clips including a few “bloopers”
- Q&A with attendees.
- Comes with Digital Download
Thurs., Sept 9th 8:00 – 10:00 PM (EST) – Thoughts on ComposingWant to get deep in the weeds!! Well, this one’s for you! Focusing on two of the works from “Within Us”, Chuck will lead a discussion on his compositional process as well as specific writing techniques utilized. The session will include time for Q&A and comes with a Digital Download of “Within Us” as well as PDF Scores to American Noir & Trail of the Ancients.
I had an absolutely wonderful week in Cologne recording new charts for an upcoming album with the great WDR big band. What an honor and treat working alongside these fabulous musicians! Just emerging from the isolation of Covid (Germany was still pretty shut down), it was a joyous affirmation of the power of live music-making. Likely release date for the album will be spring of 2022; but I’m pleased to be able to share a little preview video of one cut “And Your Point Is. . . . ?” in the Featured Videos column.
Simon Lasky, a wonderful composer/pianist in his own right, has launched (in tandem with WUSF-FM) a series of fascinating “At Home With” online interviews with jazz artists. I was delighted to be ask to participate and had a lot of fun chatting with Simon about the composition process, influences, and upcoming projects. If you’re interested in checking it out, click here.
While the COVID virus certainly derailed plans to get this exciting sextet out and about like we had all hoped; the group was able to perform before an international audience virtually as part of the JENX Conference on Wed., Jan. 6th and again on Sat., the 9th. Video clips were taken from the group’s Timucua Arts Series concert as well as recording sessions at the new Morrisound Studios in Tampa.
As the initial airing for JEN was marred by transmission issues, I’ve re-posted it here. Three new compositions written expressly for ReSurgence are now available in the webstore under the “Small Jazz Ensemble” heading:
- And Your Point Is . . . ?
- What Once Was Lost
There’s much more to come from this wonderful group of creative musicians! Stay tuned!!
After almost 40 years at USF, filled with great memories, experiences, and opportunities; I decided to take advantage of the University’s retirement incentive program. Officially, I’ll remain on faculty until August 1st, 2021 (giving me much needed time to figure out how I can possibly thank the leagues of dear friends, colleagues, staff, administrators, and – most importantly – students that have supported and inspired me throughout my tenure); however, I will be on research leave for the upcoming spring semester.
I’ll always be an educator and, after a bit of a break to do some intensive composing, I look forward to exploring new opportunities to share my thoughts and experiences with young musicians. In the meantime, here are a few pics from my time at USF. More will be posted in the gallery soon.