Christian Howes: Walkin' Up
Christian Howes (violin)
Heartfelt (Resonance Records RCD-1006)
Bob Magnusson (bass), Nathan Wood (drums).
Composed by Bill Evans.
Recorded: Los Angeles, 2008
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
He reaches for the heavens with his bow, perhaps overreaching on occasion, but never without conviction; and in the process, generates an edgy energy that compels the listener to reach with him. In an age when so many jazz violinists strive to emulate the suave, measured phrasing of Stéphane Grappelli or the near- mystical lines of Jean-Luc Ponty, Christian Howes paddles his own canoe. On this track he shoots the modal rapids over Bill Evans's lively romp without fearing the ever-present risk of capsizing or hitting any tonal rocks. As in all Resonance releases, there is plenty of virtuosity to be found here in biting solos from Howe and pianist Roger Kellaway, with volatile, intuitive support from Bob Magnusson and Nathan Wood. "Walkin' Up" should be the jazz violinist's wakeup call to wider recognition.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes