Ralph Bowen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ralph Bowen
Born Canada
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, piano, clarinet
Website www.ralphbowen.com

Canadian-born saxophonist Ralph Bowen started piano lessons at and early age, with clarinet and saxophone lessons following soon thereafter. By the age of thirteen, he was leading his own quartet and performing in big bands in the Toronto area. As a teenager, Bowen was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study music with Pat LaBarbera and Phil Nimmons at the Banff School of Fine Arts. While in Toronto, he studied with LaBarbera for a total of eight years and developed a long-time association with drummer Kieth Blackley and his father educator/drummer Jim Blackley. As well, he performed and recorded with Canadian fusion group Manteca. In 1983 and 1984, he was awarded two more grants to pursue his musical studies in the Jazz Department at Indiana University, where he honed his skills in the rigorous Artist Diploma program under the tutelage of Distinguished Professor David Baker. In 1985, the same year he and Cecil Taylor were voted "Main Jazz Men of the Year" by Canada's Toronto Globe and Mail, Bowen won the audition for the Blue Note Records co-leader position of the contemporary all-star New York based jazz band known as Out of the Blue (OTB). He moved to New York, and would eventually record four albums for Blue Note. Thereafter, he recorded a series of albums for the Dutch label Criss Cross Jazz. Most recently, he has been recording for the USA-based label Posi-Tone Records.

In 1986, Bowen began to tour with internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Michel Camilo with whom he eventually recorded a number of albums and movies soundtracks. In addition, between 1986 and 1991, Bowen also completed three world tours with jazz pianist Horace Silver, and toured Europe with critically acclaimed pianist Jim Beard. He has also had long-time associations with other leaders including pianists Orrin Evans, Jim Trompeter, Renee Rosnes, and Earl MacDonald; drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr..; bassist Charles Fambrough, and composer Dr. Anthony Branker.


Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1989-91. Major: Classical Performance Flute Studies under Dr. James S. Scott and Robert Dick- Master of Music, 1991.

Rutgers-the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1985-89. Major: Jazz and Classical Performance- Bachelor of Music, 1989. Saxophone and Flute, summa cum laude

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 1984-1986. Concentrations: Jazz Composition, Improvisation, Theory, and History (under tutelage of David N. Baker); Classical Saxophone (with Eugene Rousseau and Daniel Duffaette).


Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1990-.; Associate Professor of Music; Director of Jazz Ensembles; Professor of Jazz Theory and Jazz Saxophone.

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 2000-. Visiting Associate Professor


As a leader[edit]

  • Movin' On (1992) Criss Cross Records
  • A Morning View (2001) Ratamacue Records
  • Soul Proprietor (2002) Criss Cross Records
  • Keep the Change (2004) Criss Cross Records
  • Five (2008) Criss Cross Records
  • Dedicated (2009) Posi-Tone Records
  • Due Reverence (2010) Posi-Tone Records
  • Power Play (2011) Posi-Tone Records
  • Total Eclipse (2012) Posi-Tone Records
  • Standard Deviation (2014) Posi-Tone Records

As a co-leader[edit]

Out of the Blue
  • Out of the Blue (1985) Blue Note Records
  • Inside Track (1986) Blue Note Records
  • Live in Mt Fuji (1986) Blue Note Records
  • Spiral Staircase (1989) Blue Note Records
Other projects
  • Free Trade (1994) Justin Time Records
  • LUVPARK (2004) Imani Records

As a sideman[edit]

With Michel Camilo
With Orrin Evans
  • Captain Black (1998) Criss Cross Records
  • Old Folks Business (1999) Criss Cross Records
  • Listen to the Band (2000) Criss Cross Records
  • Meant to Shine (2002) Palmetto Records
With Earl MacDonald
  • Schroeder's Tantrum (1995) Radioland
  • "Re:Visions - works for jazz orchestra" (2010) Death Defying Records
With Horace Silver

Complete Discography[edit]


  • Ralph Bowen "Total Eclipse" Posi-Tone


  • Ralph Bowen "Power Play" Posi-tone
  • Anthony Branker & Ascent "Dance Music" Origin
  • Jared Gold "All Wrapped Up" Posi-Tone
  • Captain Black Big Band (Self-Titled) Posi-Tone


  • Ralph Bowen "Due Reverence" Posi-tone
  • John Hyde "John Hyde Quartet"
  • Jim Rotondi "The Move" Criss Cross
  • Nino Josele "Espanola" Warner


  • Ralph Bowen "Dedicated" Posi-tone
  • Kenny Davis Group "Kenny Davis" Daken
  • Anthony Branker & Ascent "Blessings" Origin


  • The Brenan Brothers "The Throwdown" Death-Defying
  • Jim Trompeter Quintet "Live at the Green Mill"
  • Andrew/Hutchinson Trio "Music Box"
  • Papo Vaquez Mighty Pirates "Marooned" Aislado
  • Ralph Bowen Quintet "Five" Criss Cross


  • Ralph Bowen LUVPARK II Imani
  • Anthony Branker & Ascent "Spirit Songs" Origin


  • Brian Lynch "Con Clave" Criss Cross
  • Tony Deangelis "Everybody's Song"


  • Horace Silver "Rockin' w/Rachmoninov Bop City
  • LUVPARK "Luvpark" Imani
  • Ralph Bowen Quintet "Keep the Change" Criss Cross
  • Sciora "Sciora"


  • Mark Sweetman "Remembering John Coltrane" Marcmuse


  • Orrin Evans "Meant to Shine" Palmetto
  • Ralph Bowen "Soul Proprietor" Criss Cross


  • Ralph Bowen "A Morning View" Ratamacue
  • Marc Sweetman "All Paths Lead to One" Marcmuse
  • Bob Murphy Quartet "Free On The Inside" Roadhouse
  • Craig Schoedler "By the Water" Progressive
  • Vince Dimura "Imperfect Balance" Dimura


  • The Fins "Superstar" Fins
  • Seed "Seed" Hipnotic
  • Orrin Evans "Listen to the Band" Criss Cross
  • Len Bryant "It's Now Midnight" Len


  • Ralph Peterson "Back to Stay" Sirocco
  • Orrin Evans "Old Folk's Business" Criss Cross


  • Orrin Evans "Captain Black" Criss Cross
  • Dawn Warren "Dawn" Imani
  • Marc Sweetman "Inspired" Marc Muse
  • K-Jazz All-Stars/Amigos "Spirit Talk" K-Jazz
  • Nilda Fernandez "Innu Nikamu" EMI


  • George Johnson "Turquoise Ocean" A Records
  • The Fins "Blues Print" Fins
  • K-Jazz All-Stars "Strait Ahead" K-Jazz
  • Earl McDonald "Schroeder's Tantrum" CBC


  • Michel Camilo "Too Much" Verve
  • John Serry "Enchantress" Telarc
  • Esque "Strangers No More" K-Jazz


  • Michel Camilo "Two Much Soundtrack" Verve
  • Fortune/Vinson/Cruse "Crusin'" K-Jazz


  • Charles Fambrough "Keeper of the Spirit" Audioquest
  • Free Trade "Free Trade" Justin Time
  • Michel Camilo "One More Once" Columbia
  • Vince Dimura "Black on White" Angel Tear
  • Barry Sames "Awaiting the Spirit" Intrigue


  • Jon Herington "Complete Rhyming Dictionary"
  • Pioneer Various Artists "Jazz Valentine-In the Mood" Music Masters


  • Ralph Bowen "Movin' On" Criss Cross
  • Benny Carter "Harlem Renaissance" Music Masters


  • Horace Silver "Rockin' with Rachmoninov" Emerald


  • Michel Camilo "On the Other Hand" Columbia
  • Renee Rosnes "Renee Rosnes" Blue Note
  • Bobby Watson & Horizon "Post-Motown Bop" Blue Note


  • OTB "Spiral Staircase" Blue Note


  • Various Artists "Blue Note '86" Blue Note
  • OTB "Live at Mt. Fuji" Blue Note
  • OTB "Inside Track" Blue Note


  • OTB "Out of the Blue" Blue Note
  • Manteca "Extra, Extra" Duke Street
  • Manteca "Strength in Numbers" Ready

Recorded Original Compositions[edit]

  • "Altitudes"
  • "Arrows of Light"
  • "Baby Girl."
  • "Behind the Curtain"
  • "Blues Cruz"
  • "Cache-Cache"
  • "Canary Drums"
  • "Convergence"
  • "Country Rhythm"
  • "Did You Notice"
  • "The Dowsing Rod"
  • "Drumheller Valley"
  • "Elevation"
  • "E.R."
  • "First Hiatus"
  • "The First Stone"
  • "For D.E"
  • "For You"
  • "Four in One, Six in the Other"
  • "Free Time"
  • "Gemini"
  • "Gerri-Ann"
  • "The Good Shepherd"
  • "Gordon"
  • "In My Dreams"
  • "Inside Track"
  • "Into the City"
  • "Jessica"
  • "Just Reconnoitering"
  • "K.D.s Blues"
  • “Keep the Change"
  • "Less Is More"
  • "A Little Silver in My Pocket"
  • "Meltdown"
  • "Midnight Snack"
  • "A Morning View"
  • "Mr. BeBop"
  • "Mr. Scott"
  • "Oh Really?"
  • "On Green"
  • "One for Trane"
  • "Pat"
  • "Phil-osophy"
  • "Points Encountered"
  • "Prof"
  • "Qaiyam"
  • "Reunited"
  • "A Solar Romance"
  • "Spikes"
  • "Soul Proprietor"
  • "This One's For Bob"
  • "Thru Traffic"
  • “Total Eclipse”
  • "Thru Traffic"
  • "Two-Line Pass"
  • "Under a Cloud"
  • "Walleye Jigging"