John Stowell - Golden Delicious

Guitarist John Stowell has earned a reputation as a quiet and laidback guitarist who plays thought-provoking music. He gained early experience taking lessons from guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan, later working with both of their own groups. Stowell played regularly with bassist David Friesen during 1976-83, toured the Soviet Union in 1983 with Paul Horn, and gigged with such major names as Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Bill Watrous, George Cables, Richie Cole and Tom Harrell. Stowell’s harmonically adventurous style has long been distinctive.

Golden Delicious, his recording debut as a leader from 1977, is different than one might expect for the music is consistently fiery, extroverted and filled with uptempo performances. Stowell is featured in a high-powered sextet that also includes pianist Jim McNeely and trumpeter Claudio Roditi. The music ranges from post-bop to Latin jazz and a bit of fusion with “In Response” finding the group sounding a bit like the mid-1960s Miles Davis Quintet. This spirited set is quite memorable.

SKU: IC1030

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Enjoy this classic Inner City album, originally released in 1977, of guitarist John Stowell's original compositions. Stowell's use of space and his lyrical tone have brought on numerous comparisons to jazz guitar legend Jim Hall. Featured on this disc are Claudito Rodito (trumpet), Jim McNeely (piano), Mike Richmond (bass), David Friesen (bass, "Festival Dance"), Billy Hart (drums) and Dom Um Ramao (percussion) of Weather Report fame.

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist John Stowell
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Claudito Rodito (trumpet), Jim McNeely (piano), Mike Richmond (bass), David Friesen (bass, "Festival Dance"), Billy Hart (drums) and Dom Um Ramao (percussion)
SKU IC1030


Customer Reviews (2)

"Stowell Is Superb!"Review by Big Toots
IC 1030 Golden Delicious David Stowell

I’ve always had a soft – and somewhat envious - spot in my heart for players who can hold their instruments in somewhat of a caress. You know; upright bass players and guitarists. When you think about it, there’s much more of an intimacy between the player and their instrument than say a brass player. Guitarist John Stowell not only is a “hugger,” he embraces his instrument as if paring with it could spring forth magic. And, on “Golden Delicious” there’s plenty of that sleight of hand.

Backed by an A-1 group of similar believers, including regular teammate, bassist David Friesen, Stowell delivers yet another intelligent, upbeat and penetrating effort – this one bearing more jazz fruit than some of his other fine works. With great Brazilian trumpeter, Claudio Roditi (listed as “Rodito”) and pianist Jim McNeely accompanying melodically,

Stowell tears into things here with great passion right from the get-go (“Afterburn”). His rhythm cohorts include drum sorcerer, Billy Hart and percussion guru Dom Um Romao. The chemistry of this entire group is such that they could make the Period Table add new elements (“Banging the Silent Zero,” where Roditi and pianist McNeely are nothing short of third-degree burners).

Stowell is technically sublime and a very tonal and textured improviser, favoring highly rhythmic lines that generate new melodic spurts and spinning wheels. He also shrewdly brings those classic Wes Montgomery unison octave lines into play intermittently (“Festival Dance,” Loran Mirage”). Partner Friesen buzzes up and down his fingerboard there and elsewhere (“Golden Delicious”) like a mad mosquito, too. Pianist McNeely on his thoughtful, melancholic original, “In Response” is a flourishing, embellishing supernova. There’s plenty of shine on this apple.

“Golden Delicious” lives up to – and surpasses – each of its titled words. While it’s hard to top any of Stowell’s fine other material, this one is indeed the icing on an enormously satisfying and very sweet cake.
(Posted on 6/15/2015)
Golden DeliciousReview by Simon Sez
John Stowell is a tasteful, quiet and thoughtful guitarist, right? He is the type of guitarist who would fit into the folk jazz of Oregon very well if Ralph Towner were not available. But, as if he were determined to defy all stereotypes, his playing on Golden Delicious is completely different.

The music on Golden Delicious is mostly taken at really fast tempos, Stowell plays his guitar as if he were part of a very passionate rock band, showing a fiery side to his music that was usually well hidden on other albums. Also featured are pianist-arranger Jim McNeely and Claudio Roditi on trumpet. So if you think that you know John Stowell, this CD will show you that there is more to know than you think.

Simon Sez: John Stowell, normally a quiet guitarist, is very passionate throughout the exciting Golden Delicious (IC1030) from 1977. (Posted on 5/6/2014)

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