'...This Pilgrimage is worth taking, a fine debut from a promising contemporary saxophonist.' -Kyle O'Brien, Oregon's Jazz Scene Magazine ' Fowler's deft use of harmonic underpinning to accent the contours of his melodic turns is simple, yet carefully crafted and set up the improvisations in ways many jazz and R&B instrumental songs don't.' - Thomas Erdman, JazzReview.com 'Like both a fine wine and sax great Johnny Hodges, Fowler's tart tone gradually draws you as it opens to a big round, satisfying finish.' - Tim Duroche, Willamette Week 'With tunes that can inspire listeners to raise their voices or lay back and smile, the album combines Fowler's rich jazz sound with the simple melodies of his childhood. ' - Ritta Basu, In The Now Magazine This isn't Modern jazz. Modern jazz makes you think, makes you close your eyes, makes your mind spin. This isn't traditional jazz. Traditional jazz veers away from anything unexpected. 'The idea (for this record) stems from the music in my childhood. We went to Church every Sunday, singing hymns and traditional gospel songs. When I started playing saxophone, I left that behind and modern jazz became my passion. This music integrates those experiences - the past and the present,' says Fowler. For inspiration, Mr. Fowler cites the music of Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Smith, Lonnie Smith, Ray Charles, Bach, and the Reverend Milton Brunson. Fowler continues, 'Traditional jazz is well-permeated with the influence of blues and gospel Music. Modern jazz, with it's heady melodies and more obtuse rhythms, has slowly distanced itself from it's soulful roots. I am attempting to infuse my own modern jazz tendencies with the soul of gospel music.' Personnel: Dan Gildea: Guitar (played w/ Stephanie Schneiderman, Mary Kadderly, Mel Brown) Dave Fleschner: Organ, Piano (played w/ Curtis Salgado, Mel Brown) Tyler Smith: Bass (played w/ Dan Balmer, Kathy Walker) Ed Pierce: Drums (played w/ St. James/Woods Nonet, Paul DeLay, Renato Curanto) Ben Fowler: sax About Ben Fowler Ben has been playing the saxophone since the age of 12. He has played with: Jazz Explosion, Body & Soul, Shag, The Congregation, D.K. Stewart, Joey Porter, Andy Stokes, Ezra Weiss, Jay Koder, The Four Freshman, Pepe & the Bottle Blondes, Leroy Vinegar, Billy Hart, Tony Pacini, Derek Sims, Ramsey Embick, Mel Brown, Renato Caranto, Tall jazz, Randy Porter, Thara Memory, Gordon Lee, Chris Brown, Rob Scheps, Margo Tufo, Norman Sylvester, Geoff Byrd, Keith Shreiner. His playing is influenced by: Kenny Garrett, Stanley Turrentine, Wayne Shorter, Johnny Hodges, Keith Garrett, Miles Davis. Ben currently resides in Portland, OR.