He opens with Cole Porter's Everything I Love," mining it for chords to alter, phrases to stretch or contract and, following a contemplative solo, a coda that swings the track to a close. He plays pieces by Bill Evans, Steve Swallow and Ornette Coleman and six of his own compositions. Funny Man," an Evans tune rarely played by others, gets a series of single-note-line runs that Stowell builds on Evans's intriguing chord structure. Swallow's impressionistic Willow" is another highlight. Stowell's treatment of Coleman's Blues Connotation," has deep inflections in the bass notes, time that pulses beneath the surface, and wry commentary hinting at call-and-response. Of his own pieces, Fun With Fruit" and Laughing River" are as intriguing as their mysterious titles. This could be party music, I suppose, if you were having a very quiet party. For full enjoyment, it requires--and rewards--close attention
In this video clip, Stowell plays a medley of two Wayne Shorter pieces,"Fall" and Nefertiti," not included in Solitary Tales.
When Stowell is at his home base in the US Pacific Northwest, he frequently performs with two of that region's world-class musicians, bassist Jeff Johnson and drummer John Bishop. In this video, tenor saxophonist Rick Mandyck joins them in a piece with the misleading title, Turgid," which is on their Scenes CD.