By Frank Alkyer | Published July 2021
Tenor saxophonist Charles Owens can blow — fast, furious and flowing — with just the right dollop of soul. With the release of 10 Years, there’s no question about what his trio is all about. Bassist Andrew Randazzo and drummer Devonne “DJ” Harris (both members of Butcher Brown) drive the groove for Owens to bop, weave and dance around and through. It’s especially true on the recording’s opening number, “Cameron The Wise,” an afrobeat-inspired jam that has been a fan favorite at the trio’s live gigs, but laid down on recording for the first time here.
This trio is out to have a good time and entertain, as experienced by covers like “Caught Up In The Rapture,” made famous by Anita Baker, Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light,” a wicked cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 Were 9” and Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop.” And let’s not even go into the set’s final number, “The Rainbow Connection,” from The Muppet Movie. They actually make it kind of cool, in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
To balance that out, there’s also a wicked cover of John Coltrane’s “Central Park West” and Randazzo paying homage to Jaco Pastorius with a cover of “Continuum.”
There’s great musicianship throughout this set, and the kind of love and chemistry that can only come from playing together for, well, a decade. 10 Years sounds like a long time, but here, it’s a very enjoyable journey.