It's been four years since smooth jazz guitarist Tim Bowman's last CD "Smile" was winning rave magazine reviews and garnering ubiquitous smooth jazz radio airplay. Now, Bowman is back on the scene with a new CD that demonstrates that he still has his ear pressed firmly to the radio. The new project, "This is What I Hear"; Bowman's first for Liquid 8 Records is full of the breezy, cool hooks that have defined his personal jazz style over the last decade and kept him competitive with the Russ Freemans and George Bensons of the music world.
When asked how he arrived at the title for the new CD, Bowman says, "I like smooth jazz and I like gospel music. So, instead of my music being one or the other, this is what I hear. I hear jazz and I hear gospel." And everything we hear from Bowman is good. From the drop-the-hatch cruise control chill -feel of "Summer Groove" to the volcanic vocal eruption between gospel legends Vickie Winans and Rance Allen on "My Praise," Bowman creates an enjoyable musical experience with much more verve and edginess than the usual smooth jazz fare.
It's a unique path for a man raised in a traditional black church denomination that frowned upon any type of secular music. Bowman was born April 22, 1959 in Detroit's Outer Drive Hospital. He was the ninth of a dozen children born to the late Aaron (a brick mason ) and Mattie Bowman, a housewife. Their life revolved around the International Gospel Center Church in Ecorse, MI. "There was a guitarist at church who just blew me away," Bowman says of that day in 1970 when his eleven-year-old hands were first inspired to pick a guitar. Previously, he had played the bongos at church, but the guitar was his calling. "When I saw him, I said I want to do this," Bowman remembers.
Bowman expects "This is What I Hear" to surpass the success of all of his prior collections. It has mellow acoustic tunes such as "Miracle" and "Angel." There's the funk of "Candy's Groove" (written by his daughter Candace) and "Dance." There are further vocal cameos by Marvin Winans (founder of the Winans), Kayla Parker (who has collaborated with Oleta Adams and Brandy) and Bowman's son, Tim Jr. Although, this CD is what Bowman hears. It's what we'll all be wanting to hear this fall.