Brian Owen is a 23 year old trumpet artist from Seattle, Washington. Not only is he a gifted soloist, by a fine composer in his own right. In fact Unmei is a very intriguing compositional debut for such a young artist.
The compositions on this recording reflect a man of maturity beyond his years. Critics and radio stations across the US are giving this CD very favorable notice. And I believe listeners will do the same when they here this young musicians debut CD, Unmei.
It was Kristin Korb, a bassist and singer who was in charge of the jazz program at Central Wahington University, who stimulated Brian's evolution as a composer. He was already gaining considerable recognition as a fine soloist in both the Classical and Jazz idioms. Near and around the Seattle area. This was a thankful observation, for if this is what he is writing at 23, I hope I'm around long enough to hear what he discovers and is influenced by in the decades to come.
You can hear an influence of the classical or maybe ECM in many of these compositions. But there are a couple of items which really stand out here.(other than the obvious western classical influences) There are many moments of melodic and rhythmic compatibilities throughout the performances on this session. Many nice grooves on this disc are heard, and thoughtful improvisations. Plus, a strong sense of phrasing and melody is heard. Pianist, John Hansen just sounds brilliant. He plays beautiful accompaniments and provides rich lush harmonic layouts for soloists. Furthermore, he is a fine soloist. Jay Thomas adds fine ensemble and fresh improvisational phrases. John Hamar and Phil Parisot capture the musical moment of Brain's compositions, which is why so many people are applauding the work of the Unmei!
Jay Thomas is quoted as saying "Brian is a complete musician. He is his own man musically. He is not copying anyone's music. I find that refreshing." This is a reference worth listening. Thomas is one of most respect Jazz musicians on the west coast. I agree with Jay. Creating a distinct sound is a difficult task for anyone to achieve at any point in their musical career. Owen has done it at 23. Congrads Brian, we look forward to more of your musical contributions.