Global Soul, the Calvin Owens Show, and Tim Curry
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., April 22, 2005
Global Soul describes its music as "eclectic jazz." On their impressive debut, This Is It, the local sextet demonstrates a diversity of sound, slipping from Latin to funk to Brazilian to fusion to bebop effortlessly. Most often, styles blend within a given tune for a sound that's familiar enough to grasp yet exotic enough to keep piquing our interest. A front line of trumpet, sax, guitar, and especially Rick Glascock's vibes makes for a colorful palette, with a solid set of virtually all originals making Global Soul a local band to keep an eye on. Closer to traditional Texas roots is the Calvin Owens Show, a recent Auditorium Shores showcaser. Owens is a veteran Houston trumpeter/bandleader whose orchestra delivers a bright, brassy swelter recalling the halcyon days of Duke/Peacock Records, when the interchangeable strains of jazz and blues were a staple throughout the Southwest. Owens is wise enough to incorporate modern elements into the brew, adding a dash of zesty zydeco here, some dapper contemporary jazz there, and a stableful of soulful singers. Keeping Big Band Blues Alive (Sawdust Alley) is a joyous set passionately reaffirming that this grand Lone Star tradition is still alive and kickin'. Sophisticated, deep-voiced Austin crooner Tim Curry sets his considerable talents into the silken surroundings of quiet-storm R&B and smooth jazz. Intimate Words (DFTM) is best heard late at night in the company of soft lights and someone you love. Although familiar local jazz players like trumpeter Ephraim Owens, saxman Alex Coke, and guitarist Glen Rexach make appearances, fans of these musicians might not find this album to their liking. For those who prefer their jazz on the smooth side, Tim Curry is your man.