Geri Allen: Journey to the Light
Williams, who would have been 100 years old in 2010, inspired Allen's "For The Healing Of The Nations," a Sacred Jazz Suite in a choral setting written in tribute to the families, victims and survivors of the 9/11 tragedy. The title of the suite comes from the Bible and centers on various sacred texts. "God, the center, the core of our strength and the power of love and healing, is the only place I could look to, to find comfort when such things happen. The poet, and initiate of the project, Sandra Turner Barnes wrote much of the poetry other than the sacred texts."
Geri Allen cites coming from a strong spiritually-based family, participating in the Madrigals at Cass under Marilyn Jones, Mary Lou's Music For Peace, and her love for the voice as the main elements which helped to pave the way for her sacred jazz suite.
"Music can change the ethers; I know this as I listen to Coltrane's A Love Supreme. Whatever's going on, the music draws the Light. I think that's what this music has always really been about: people finding ways to express the Light even in the midst of darkness, finding a way to it through the power of the Spirit."
Geri Allen, The Printmakers (Minor Music-Polygram, 1984)
Geri Allen, In The Year of the Dragon (with Charlie Haden & Paul Motian) (JMT-Winter & Winter, 1989)
Geri Allen, Eyes in the Back of Your Head (Blue Note, 1995)
Mary Lou Williams Collective, Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary, 2000-03)
Geri Allen, The Life of a Song (Telarc, 2004)
Trio 3 + Geri Allen, At This Time (Intakt, 2008)