Three Squared is a quartet formed from a mutual love for freedom in music-making. A predominant feature of their writing is improvisation, a concept drawn largely from the Jazz tradition, but fused with countless influences from their individual musical paths. Drummer Antwon Owens of Three Squared has flourished as a musician and has received many awards for his quick pace in learning music. These awards include Jazz Vibe solos (UNC Greely Jazz Festival), Drum set solos and Latin percussion playing (Metropolitan State College Jazz Festival & Denver University Jazz Festival). Three Squared’s newest album Object has made an impact with audiences featuring Antwon Owens on drums, Matt King on saxophone, Jim Disner on guitar and Nathan Walter on bass.
The opening track Chief Wiggum begins with a bass introduction that’s followed by the guitar and drums. Then you have the clear, polished saxophone sound that gives off a terrific positive vibe. The instruments are in harmony with one another. A balanced drum beat supports the music while you hear another layer of the guitar that plays phrases with melodic flavor. Then later, the guitar plays a recurring wonderful series of notes in which the saxophone joins. You get a serene laid back but focused playing in this tune. A theme heard at the beginning is reinstated towards the end. I felt a little bit of a southwestern atmosphere when I listened to this track.
A major triad on guitar is the first thing you hear in the beginning of the album’s third track Opus 1. The solo guitar entrance leaves you in suspense as to what other sounds will be heard. The incredible smooth sound on the saxophone can be heard as it plays with intensity with varying musical sounds. You can feel the exciting energy building as you continue listening to this tune. The drums kick this song in high gear with beats that stand out. After the saxophone improvisation you get to hear a well crafted guitar solo. The depth of the playing is breathtaking. Finally, you hear an outstanding bass solo.
Another guitar introduction starts the fifth track Useless. The saxophone and guitar interact in harmony in which they feed off one another. You can hear phenomenal creativity in the guitar solo as it makes the most of its notes with runs that go up and down. At one point the guitar increases in force and then subsides. This tune projects a serene vibe as well. The guitarist accompanies the saxophone in excellent fashion. Fast notes exhibiting complicated patterns are performed by the saxophone later in this tune. You get bursts of energy in the whole tune as well as towards the end. The execution of this piece is astounding.
A sentimental sound can be felt in the sixth track Hard Rain. In this tune, you can feel a story being told. Sustained tones can be heard on the saxophone as it plays the melody. When the guitar solos, you can hear a strong rock influence with astonishing pentatonic notes. This is perhaps the most emotional of all the tunes on this album. The saxophone performs with great power with tones that are bright. Then a peaceful moment can be felt in this tune. The guitarist does an excellent job of supporting the saxophone. Later on you hear a repeating pattern of pleasant sounding notes on the saxophone.
Object is a great sounding album that seems to incorporate different elements of music into a musical product. The music on this album has a very balanced sound. A calm atmosphere is prevalent throughout the tunes. Three Squared is a group with the talent to produce endless possibilities in jazz music. The music is very relaxing and you can feel this as you listen to all of the instruments. Antwon Owens has done an excellent job of bringing his ability, dedication and experience to create a music treat for listeners of jazz. May he continue to amaze us with future works.
“Antwon Owens charm radiates from behind his drum set, and he is great at making every member of the audience feel like he is playing just for them.”
-Erin Merelli, Jazzreview.com (Music That Moves)
“THREE SQUARED, is actually a quartet that…seem to be exploring a Necks-Like methodology…the sound is appealing, particularly Kings playing…Disner makes nice use of vibrato, loops and other effects…the improve and harmonic meat succeeds really well…”
-CADENCE JAZZ MAGAZINE: JAN-FEB-MARCH 2009 Issue Page 88