The slinky soul-jazz of Jimmy Smith and Lee Morgan…the melody and mastery of trombone legend J.J. Johnson…the infectious grooves but also the modal innovations of the hard-boppin’ 1960s…these ingredients come together as a delectable sonic gumbo on Bob Dowell’s new album “Mississippi Slide!”
In the abundantly rich and diverse London music scene, Bob grew up playing reggae, salsa, African music—but American jazz ignited the most persistent flames in his imagination, leading him to the Jazz Performance program at the Royal Academy of Music. His studies there were just the beginning of Bob’s jazz journey, one which would see him give BBC performances at the Royal Albert Hall and on Jools Holland’s “Later” and pen arrangements for orchestras from London to Prague and beyond.
Now a proud (and right-at-home) resident of the Mississippi Delta, Bob reveals just what a triple threat he is—trombonist/composer/arranger—on “Mississippi Slide!” And there is nothing studious about this album, which was written in a day and recorded in a day (at Cotton Row Recording in Memphis, with Art Edmaiston on tenor sax, Tony Thomas on Hammond B3, Tim Goodwin on bass and Tom Lonardo on drums). The compositions impress and the musicians dazzle but you might just wanna dance as you move from the tuneful bop of track one, “Autumnal Fumble, to the funky blues of the last cut, “Little Boogaloo,” named for Bob’s wife, renowned pianist/songwriter Edent Brent.