Bowman, a native Kansan, explored the jazz scenes on both coasts and toured the world with heavy hitters — the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, singer Carmen McRae — before deciding to settle down in Kansas City in the late ’80s.
A few years later, Allyson came along and took him out on the road again for at least a decade. But he never left for too long, and the last few years, Bowman has devoted himself to being closer to home — family, friends and his horse.
Since the ’80s, he has made himself one of the central figures of the Kansas City jazz scene. He has helped many younger players get it together, and by his own playing he has raised the bar for what’s expected of bassists and rhythm sections in this town.
Now, emerging from this difficult period, he has raised the bar for himself. And we all get to enjoy the results.
BY JOE KLOPUS
The Kansas City Star
A dexterous vocalist, Allyson sang the Allison material with irascible grit and applied sanguine assurance to “Sous le Ciel de Paris.” Like Allyson, Bowman seems to be improving with age. The bassist stood out among the masterly accompanists. The high ceilings and pristine sound field transformed the tone of his instrument from an indeterminate pulse to a multi-dimensional dynamo. Bowman may never have sounded better.
BY BILL BROWNLEE
Special to The Star