Best Music 0f 2018

My favorite among this bumper crop of Americana is the debut album of a young saxophonist who's willing to share the spotlight with other soloists…

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Owen Broder
Cowboys & Frenchmen Brings Wild Sound to 3 Bay Area Roundups

With a name lifted from a 1988 short film by David Lynch made for French television, the jazz quintet Cowboys and Frenchmen clearly isn’t trying to hide its experimental proclivities. Co-led by alto and soprano saxophonist Ethan Helm and alto and baritone saxophonist Owen Broder, the New York combo has honed a wily and often elliptically lyrical sound that makes it almost impossible to tell where a written passage stops and improvisation starts.

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Owen Broder
"Heritage" Selected as DownBeat Editor's Pick

Fans of large-ensemble music might notice the sturdy artistic thread that connects bandleaders Maria Schneider, Ryan Truesdell and Owen Broder... Broder, a woodwinds player, recruited 15 instrumentalists and arrangers for this album, which explores elements of folk, blues, classical and Americana music through the jazz lens. The combination of traditional folk tunes, Copland-like flourishes and superb musicianship result in a transcendent work of art—one that celebrates human imagination while evoking the natural beauty of windswept prairies.

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Owen Broder