Craig Owens

Dream Jacket

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Leader and electric guitarist Craig Owens calls his group the Bodo Ensemble; it includes an interesting mix of trumpet, saxophone, bass clarinet, and a conventional rhythm section. The original and off-beat compositions of Owens add flair and pizzazz, combining avant-garde snatches with riveting jazz solos and winding post-bop lines. Mike Unruh is a real standout on bass clarinet; his improvisations are featured throughout. Owens keeps the proceedings rolling by constantly switching the horns and styles, although, to be fair, ideas are given time to work themselves out before changes set in. Susan Mayo's scratchy cello is a delight, while Lori Anderson adds attractive flute and saxophone excursions. It is the arrangements that make this recording special, though, with their unusual genre mixing.