Reviews that mention Mwata Bowden
August 13, 2009
Live In Poland
Sociologically as well as musically notable, this live session captures the excitement engendered by the performance of a Chicago-based Asian-American ensemble at a Polish music festival. This is more than a clichéd tale about music’s universality. For here are 800 people in a small Eastern European city clapping along to sounds produced not only by the familiar Western instruments of saxophonists Francis Wong and Mwata Bowden, violinist Jonathan Chen and bassist Tatsu Aoki, but those of Hide Yoshihashi, Amy Homma and Melody Takata – traditional Japanese taiko drums that have no musical scales or devices for controlling the sound. MORE
June 30, 2003
Oh, My Dog
MYUMI PROJECT BIG BAND
Rooted: Origins of Now
Southport/Asian Improv S-SSD 0092
Performing with a mid-sized band of improvisers is widespread because it provides freedom both for the composer(s) and the players. Nine plus instruments often provide enough variations to illustrate a writers vision; and with fewer than 12 bandmates, musicians can contribute much more than if theyre mere section placeholders.
Small big bands can also be used to express radically different concepts as these skilled CDs demonstrate. Together for almost 30 years, the Dutch ICP Orchestra has featured many different soloists over time, but with laissez faire direction coming from pianist/composer Misha Mengelberg, theres a consistency there. Tatsu Aokis Myumi Project, on the other hand, is mostly a recording ensemble, put together to give flesh to the bassist/composers musical portraits of Asian American improvisers in particular and Asians in North America in general. MORE
June 2, 2000
Thrill Jockey Records Thrill 071
When people say that a certain musician could write for the movies, they usually mean he'd be good at creating background music. 8 Bold Souls' leader Edward Wilkerson could write for film all right, but for a completely different reason. His arrangements and compositions, which make up this disc, are so cinematic that there are times you can almost "see" the movie unrolling as the music plays.
"Brown Town" for instance, with its double duos of Wilkerson's soulful tenor accompanied by a boogaloo drum beat and Jackson's tailgate trombone fronting a brass bass tuba, could be a stroll down an urban street, moving from a 1940s swing dance club to a 1960s R&B hangout.MORE