By Ed Enright | Published February 2019
Having released multiple leader dates for Posi-Tone featuring a classic jazz quintet lineup of saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass and drums, Ken Fowser has recorded an organ-jazz album at the suggestion of producer and label head Marc Free.
Joining the New York-based tenor saxophonist on Right On Time are organist Brian Charette, guitarist Ed Cherry and drummer Willie Jones III, with guest horn players Steve Davis (trombone) and Joe Magnarelli (trumpet) appearing on several tracks. The change of context required a fresh approach from Fowser, who composed all 10 tracks here, many of them built upon a blues groove aesthetic reminiscent of old Lou Donaldson records. Fowser’s writing and playing are appropriately straightahead; his melodies come at you directly, and his tenor tone is clean and unaffected, with slightly dark shadings. His all-star sidemen devour the material, whether swinging their way through blues-based numbers like “Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors” and “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” or turning up the heat on more harmonically advanced compositions, like “Duck And Cover” and “Knights Of The Round.” Killer solos abound, as everyone on board makes a substantial contribution to the collective exuberance. Cherry shares the melody line with Fowser on the quiet waltz “A Poem For Elaine,” which elicits gentle, yet exquisite, statements from the guitarist and saxophonist, not to mention an especially sweet solo spot from Charette.
Right On Time is a great idea that clearly sparked a creative fire in Fowser and resonated with his chosen bandmates. Critical ears and casual listeners will relish the results.