The OWL Trio is a new chamber jazz ensemble, borne of the 10-year musical relationship between bassist Orlando le Fleming, saxophonist Will Vinson and guitarist Lage Lund. The intimate nature of the lineup, combined with the years of prolific collaborative music-making in a wide variety of contexts, results in highly sensitive and near-telepathic renderings of standards and free improvisations.
Each of the musicians is highly accomplished and recognized in his own right. Jazz Times calls le Fleming “a deep-toned walker with an impeccable sense of time”, and the New York Times describes him as a “grounding force”. Vinson is “marvelous” and “drills a hole through the music, boxing like a sprightly Olympic welterweight” according to Jazz Times, and the Guardian describes him as “spectacular, adroit and sophisticated”. The New York Times lauds Lund’s “casual magnetism”, and the critic David Adler describes him as “burning down the house with one impossibly deft solo after another''.
The group’s first performance at the Rochester Jazz Festival was a hit according to the Rochester City Newspaper: “Lund’s gorgeous playing, Vinson’s sinuous sound, and le Fleming’s sturdy anchoring made for a dream-like sound in a perfect setting.”
OWL Trio recorded its first, eponymous, CD in an abandoned church in Brooklyn. The recording is characterized by its seamless juxtaposition of haunting beauty, space and freedom, with the overt celebration of the jazz tradition and that of the American songbook.
Photos by Jimmy Katz
A note about the debut album from the OWL Trio
Starting the OWL Trio should have been an obvious move for the three of us. We've played together in each others' bands, and bands led by other great musicians, more or less since we met in New York ten years ago.
The musical kinship that we share has been there since the beginning, a precious occurrence in jazz, and one
that we didn't want to waste. And yet, we had very few trio performances under our belt when our friend Jimmy Katz called us about a new space he'd found that he wanted to use to record. When we arrived,
unrehearsed, at this cavernous, un-renovated, unheated church we were equally suspicious of how on earth we were going to adapt our playing style to this most unusual of acoustics for a jazz group. But, more or less as soon as Jimmy started rolling and we began calling an endless array of standards and free pieces, hardly ever doing more than one take, a sound emerged. It's a sound we couldn't have produced anywhere else, and also one that we couldn't have come up with any combination of musicians.
What we heard when we listened back to the audio was the product of our years of musical association, with the catalyst of an unexpected location, and we knew it was the start of something. We hope it's the first of many recordings to come.