Marshall Allen with Lou Grassi's PoBand: PoZest
Seventy-six year old alto saxophonist, flutist Marshall Allen is well known for his lengthy association with the late bandleader Sun Ra; yet his recorded legacy as a session musician/journeyman is rather sparse. However, on PoZest, Allen and New York area drummer Lou Grassi along with artists who represent multiple generations of technical acumen and jazz wisdom coalesce for this rather hearty set featuring trumpeter Paul Smoker, trombonist Steve Swell, veteran bassist Wilber Morris and clarinetist Perry Robinson. Here, Lou Grassi and his “PoBand” poke fun at nature with the whimsical thirty-two minute improvisational romp titled, “Bird Symphony” as Smoker’s muted trumpet emulates the chattering of bird sounds while the lead soloists pick up the momentum in climactic fashion. On this piece, Allen’s raspy phrasing on alto sax amid Grassi and Morris’ rolling and tumbling rhythms provide a solid forum for engaging group dialogue and brisk interplay. “(Midnight) Blues” is a swaggering modern jazz induced blues vehicle for the soloists while “LouRa” features multi-layered and carousing blues choruses as Grassi and Morris turn in some hefty rhythmic accompaniment here and throughout. Basically, PoZest is a slightly boisterous yet heartfelt convergence of acute musical minds at work.....
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