International Press Quotes:

 

My expectations of a great musical evening were met.
Sean Nowell is a consummate musician with a powerful tenor style deeply rooted in the tradition. Though he recalls giants like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson he is his own man. With power, lyricism and swing he stands on his feet rooted in past and present equally.


We were treated to an odyssey of standards and originals. The band brings to mind the classic John Coltrane/Kenny Burrell recordings, with clever guitarist Olsson picking the juiciest parts out of jazz guitar history, melding it together in his own way. Leo Lindberg at the piano surely is the next star of jazz piano, proving this in many exciting solo ventures. Lars Ekman on bass and Joe Abba at the drums drove the band with rhythmically exhilarating grooves. Five out of five Stars.
Sundsvalls Tidning

Jazz is alive and well!
The big, round sound of Sean Nowells lyrical, yet brawny tenor saxophone encompasses the lion's share of modern jazz history. This group proves that great music can stand on its own without gimmicks or showboating. Travelling straight down the main stream of jazz, they offered hard bop classics, evergreens as well as original compositions, all delivered with fire and great swing.
Highlights included Nowells intense New York Vibe, a restrained but not sentimental Summertime and Horace Silver's The Cape Verdean Blues. Drummer Joe Abba drives the band with varied precision, laying down complex grooves that still set your feet tapping. Fredrik Olsson's guitar really shines on many occasions and Leo Lindberg's pianistic prowess is strikingly mature. Lars Ekman on bass is not only a groover, but is an exciting soloist, be it pizzicato or bowed. Jazz is very much alive. And we are grateful.
Hela Ha╠łlsingland 

STOCKHOLM SWINGIN' CD REVIEWS

 

Swingin' is definitely the best way to describe Sean Nowell's third album on Posi-Tone, Stockholm Swingin'. It's a well balanced and straight-ahead killer set from the Alabama native now New Yorker.

Establishing himself as a solid performer and laying in a steady stream of clean accessible rhythms in this live setting, makes Stockholm Swingin' an enjoyable listen and enticing venture for every music fan.

Stretching and flexing notes like Dexter Gordon or Sonny Rollins, Nowell sets a fire in a live session.

...it feels like a Kenny Burrell/John Coltrane session or a flavourful early George Benson album.

Nowell's own "NY Vibe" is cool and bluesy at times. It really does spell out New York for those of us who have experienced the scene for years. A great little number that even my kid was flipping out over.

It's a "burst out of the speakers and spell the presence of an real entertainer" performance from Nowell.

...a buoyancy and vitality that blisters with life.

With Stockholm Swingin' you get the feeling if you've been listening to Sean Nowell for awhile and that he really let the wheels off the wagon and just went for it this time. This is a live session that works on many levels. It's perfect for many traditionalists and a nice opening for new fans.
This is the sound of modern standard jazz. It is good for all. Enjoy...
 

-JAZZ WRAP

 

 

Real swing knows no geographic or ethnic bounds. 

Recorded live in Stockholm and featuring NYC Tenor Saxophonist Sean Nowell and Drummer Joe Abba with Swedish Guitarist Fredrik Olsson, Pianist Leo Lindberg, and Bassist Lars Ekman the cut contains all the groove and pocket you’d expect from a band of New Yorkers.

...the leader demonstrates his deft way with a ballad on a sublime reading of Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge.”

Nowell’s “NY Vibe” is suitably aggressive and relentlessly swinging, with some pure burn from guitar and tenor sax.

Bill Milkowski - JAZZ TIMES

 

From the opening notes of Blues On The Corner to the final audience applause following Walking The Path, Sean Nowell does not disappoint.

Nowell possesses a big, beefy, traditional tenor sound reminiscent of early Sonny Rollins and other legendary tenor saxophonists of the 20th century. His hard-swinging lines on his opening choruses of Blues On The Corner pay homage to virtually every tenor man who came before this relatively young jazz ambassador. 

Nowell’s group sound completely at home with the blues.

Sean Nowell’s tenor playing shines brightly on his solo taken just before the final chorus. His lines are original, clever and technical little gems to behold.

A classic and yet contemporary sound of New York jazz.

Nowell crafts a wonderfully creative improvisation. His bending, swooping tenor here showcases yet another stylistic side of this very competent tenor man.

Nowell solos with ferocity. His angry tenor pushes forward, culminating in a flurry of alternate fingerings taking him high into the altissimo. The climax of his solo comes in the middle, gradually winding down on the final chorus and the final head.

Nowell weaves in and out of tonality, as does the rhythm section behind him. It is clear the ensemble is having a blast.

Stockholm Swingin’” is a delightful example of traditional, straight-ahead jazz, beautiful produced by Marc Free and Posi-Tone Records.

Sitting back and listening, this writer can’t help but want to pick the horn and join in.

 

-Saxshed.com

 

 

...the feel of a mid-’60s Blue Note session is definitely present and strong, it’s Hank Mobley who’s most likely to come to mind when listening to Nowell.  

His playing on Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge” is thick and buzzy, recalling Coleman Hawkins, and the band’s backing is sparse, yet powerful, holding strength in reserve to allow the leader to blow lengthy variations on the blues.

...with some very thoughtful, almost Wayne Shorter-esque (the Wayne Shorter of 1964) playing from Nowell....

Stockholm Swingin’ is a good, solid live document of a band that knows how to work together and has good taste in material. 

Phil Freeman - BURNING AMBULANCE

 

 

Gritty sounds but oh-so-fine!  "Stockholm Swingin'" satisfies on a number of levels, especially in the way the quintet of musicians work together.  They sound like they're having great fun and, no matter the language, that translates into a fine listening experience.

Richard B. Kamins - STEP TEMPEST

 


What makes the sound of Nowell’s tenor saxophone so appealing and refreshing is that he doesn’t seem to push it to squeeze out emotion but rather lets the horn and his powerful personality speak direct emotional truths.

...Nowell squawks and howls but with intelligence and logic....

The time spent together makes them sound like a seasoned ensemble and the intimate recording is perfect for this in-the-moment quintet.  

Donald Elfman - THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD

 

 

A tenor sax man from Alabama that managed to find that corner on 52nd St where the southern migration brought the church to the big apple showing he knows how to swing it like a real first call player.

....a straight ahead set that is on the money throughout.

- Chris Spector - MIDWEST RECORD

 

 

On Stockholm Swingin’, the tenor saxophonist’s third Posi-Tone release, he stays in recognizably straight-ahead territory, bringing his impressively wide-ranging and imaginative tenor sound to a live quintet recording from the Swedish capital’s Glenn Miller Café....

The quintet sounds cool, confident and swinging....

...a beautifully-crafted album, with fine contributions from each of the quintet’s members. The quality of the live recording is also superb....

Bruce Lindsay - All About Jazz