Ralph Bowen

Often described with phrases such as "a consummate technician who obviously values melody" and "a bold and creative player with monster chops," saxophonist Ralph Bowen is clearly recognized as a master of his instrument by his fellow musicians, the jazz writers, and music fans worldwide.

Bowen’s latest project is a record of standards titled Standard Deviation (Posi-Tone 2014). As the title suggests, these tracks are very interesting new arrangements that only a group of skilled musicians could conceive. They highlight Bowen’s musicianship along with his arranging skills. Joining Bowen on the date are pianist (and arranger of two of the tunes) Bill O’Connell, along with Kenny Davis on bass and Donald Edwards on drums.

This latest record follows up Bowen’s previous work for Posi-Tone Total Eclipse (2012), Power Play (2011), Due Reverence (2010), and Dedicated (2009).

Originally recognized for his work on the New York jazz scene as co-leader of the group Out Of The Blue, Ralph has performed and recorded over the last two decades with a veritable who's who of the biggest names in Jazz including among others: Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Hank Jones, Stanley Turrentine, Tony Williams, Gary Bartz, James Spaulding, Lenny White, Branford Marsalis, Lewis Nash, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Garrett, Brian Blade, Maria Schneider, and Jeff Watts.

With an extensive discography of over 70 titles and his countless performances at club dates, concert halls and festivals, as well as his work as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, saxophonist Ralph Bowen's aesthetic of "casual perfectionism" continues to impact and influence his fellow musicians, and expand his audience of critics and jazz fans worldwide.

Releases - click HERE for album reviews






Releases - as a sideman

Wrapped up

Big Band

Press Quotes

"If straight-up mainstream jazz is what you crave, you can't go wrong with Ralph Bowen." - Victor Aaron / SomethingElse Reviews

"Bowen is an impressive (and impressively underrated) player with lyrical as well as technical skills. He extemporizes with harmonic savvy and rhythmic sure-footedness one would expect of a good post-Coltrane, post-Brecker tenor-but unlike many of his peers, he's rarely trite. So to call him a post- anything is actually doing him a disservice." - Nate Chinen / Jazz Times

"Bowen's sense of melody is stunning, and yet completely unpredictable. He alternates effortlessly between scales and modes, shows off some wickedly blistering speed in places yet only when he really has to drive a point home. The closest comparison is probably Joshua Redman, but Bowen's attack is lighter and more crystalline, and that contrasts, sometimes mightily, with the intensity of the tunes." - Lucid Culture

"Simply stated, the saxophonist packs a mighty punch while underscoring his virtuosity with fluency and an authoritative tone. And he gets to the point, whether dishing out hyper-mode bop phrasings or easing the listener into a peppery ballad with soul-stirring intonations" - Glenn Astarita / Jazz Review

"A wonderful technician and true modern virtuoso." - Skip Spratt / Sax Shed


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