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Chuck Owen’s “Whispers in the Wind” Receives Critical Acclaim

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Critics have much to say about Professor Chuck Owen's latest album with The Jazz Surge titled Whispers in the Wind.

The album, Owen's first release since his double GRAMMY-nominated album River Runs in 2014, features a 19-piece big band playing music composed, conducted, and arranged by Owen.

Jeff Simon of Buffalo News was the first to review Whispers in the Wind, calling it "creative, poetic ... wildly personal" and "an adventure communing with a primal and mysterious America."

Reviews by other critics abound.

"So when will this big band ace win the Grammy already?" writes Chris Spector of Midwest Record Reviews. He calls the record "a grand, sweeping set that never loses its jazz as it plunges into roots/Americana ... killer stuff big band ears will champion ... ".

Arts writer Ken Frankling of Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes writes that "aural imageries abound through each piece."

Jack Bowers of All About Jazz writes, "Owen writes with seductive rhythms in mind and sets aside ample room for earnest blowing by a number of splendid soloists ... Grammy voters, have your pens and pencils ready—again."

Carol Banks Weber calls the album "Humble, yet grandiose." She continues, "... they surge from the bottom of an endless sea in these waves of majestic interest. Just when you think it's going nowhere, they converge for an amazing climax—reality on a sizzling hot silver platter."

Whispers in the Wind has also received other acknowledgments. It was named's Jazz Album of the Week, and for three weeks it was "Chart-Bound" on JazzWeek's national jazz radio survey, meaning its time spent being played on air fell just beyond that of the top 50 most-played releases on jazz radio stations around the country.