ACS: Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding Mesa Arts Center Mesa, AZ October 22, 2013 The performance by ACS, the trio of pianist Geri Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and bassist Esperanza Spalding, was a bold collaboration that showcased each individual talent and their intense synergy. The repertoire included a salute to Wayne Shorter, via his charts, that the trio has been performing around the nation and overseas in observance of the saxophonist's 80th birthday. This trio of Grammy Award winners, among the world's leading female jazz musicians, came from being ...read more
Pianist/composer Geri Allen is gearing up for her role as artistic director for an especially ambitious production of the 2013 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival at the Apollo Theater. Presented as Geri Allen & Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo," the program will offer two shows on May 11, 2013 that explore the legacy of such jazz greats as singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson, among others.One of the major jazz pianists of her generation and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work as a composer, Allen ...read more
These modern jazz VIPs render a synchronized attack that incites a harmonious mélange of mainstream, progressive, and free-jazz during this homage to legendary pianist, composer and arranger Mary Lou Williams. One of the mainstays and redeeming traits of this live program relates to the musicians' inimitable styles amid their technical faculties and keen interpretative powers. With a consortium of diverse approaches, the trio merges jazz boogie-woogie with swing and gutsy solos on Williams' New Musical Express." Alto saxophonist Oliver Lake's yearning lines, free form bursts and knotty unison choruses with pianist Geri Allen keep this train rolling on ...read more
Geri Allen QuartetJazz Up Close Celebrates Thelonious Monk SeriesKimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Perelman TheaterPhiladelphia, PADecember 4, 2010 Once, when asked to define jazz," Count Basie simply replied, Tap your feet." At this December, 2010 concert, the fourth member of pianist Geri Allen's quartet turned out to do just that. Maurice Chestnut is a brilliant youthful tap dancer who works with a variety of music ensembles. In this concert performance at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, he utilized his feet and body movements to tap out rhythmic choruses that blended ...read more
Geri Allen Flying Toward The Sound Motema Music2010 Geri Allen & TimelineLiveMotema Music2010 One of the most accomplished jazz pianists of her generation, Geri Allen has long made music that combines the traditional and the avant-garde, the cerebral and the soulful, the restrained and the raucous. Her impressive resume includes '80s collaborations with Steve Coleman and his M-Base crew, performances with free thinkers like Ornette Coleman, Betty Carter and Charles Lloyd and well-regarded trio ...read more
Remember the time when jazz and dance were simpatico partners? Where swing and tap were intertwined with lively music and sweltering choreography in joints, halls, and clubs. Probably not, but pianist Geri Allen does, as she reflects on those past golden moments and dares to create new ones with Geri Allen & Timeline Live. Allen's Timeline consists of an extremely versatile group that includes veteran bassist Kenny Davis (who has performed with Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron), the exciting young drummer Kassa Overall, and the icing on this unique quartet, tap dance phenomenon Maurice Chestnut, who brings magical footwork ...read more
One of modern jazz's foremost pianists, Geri Allen exhibits a musical profundity that is coupled by lyricism and soul. Whether leading a trio of esteemed peers--Charlie Haden and Paul Motian--at that landmark venue, Live at the Village Vanguard (DIW, 2000), or giving homage to the obscure jazz matriarch, pianist Mary Lou Williams, with Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary Music, 2006), Allen is a composer/musician constantly gravitating towards new endeavors. Such is the case with Flying Toward the Sound (a solo piano suite in eight refractions ), a work that gained momentum after Allen received a 2008 John Simon ...read more
Ravi Coltrane with the Geri Allen Trio The Iridium New York, New York November 21, 2009
The Iridium is a major jazz club in the midtown section of New York City. As you approach the club, you can't help but be overwhelmed by the bombardment of intense streaming lights--like a laser light show emanating from adjacent Times Square. On this clear, unseasonably warm evening the club was to feature tenor saxophone icon Pharoah Sanders with special guest tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. Unfortunately the venerable Sanders was unable to make this gig, so in his stead the talented pianist Geri ...read more
Geri Allen's playing and compositional efforts manifest a stylistic flexibility grounded in her absorption of the lessons of the masters of the jazz idiom, and her desire to innovate upon that legacy. As an apprentice during high school and college, and then as a journeywoman, Allen has kept company with musical legends. She just returned from a very successful European tour with Timeline," a jazz quartet which integrates tap dance into its core arrangements; Maurice Chestnut is the dancer. She recently led an All-Star group featuring Ravi Coltrane and Jeff “Tain" Watts at the ...read more
The trio of Lake, Workman and Cyrille is, by now, seasoned in the right way. All three players are relative veterans and the depth of their shared musical understanding is obvious in everything they do. This time, Geri Allen's pianist's skill is an amalgam of Paul Bley and Andrew Hill harmonically speaking, though it's only fair to emphasize that such names are merely points of reference, to accentuate the self-contained nature of her musical output.
All the experience implied here wouldn't amount to much if the music produced led to a whole lot of nothing, but the opposite is true. ...read more
The publicity surrounding the release of At This Time is making much of the addition of a pianist to Trio 3's saxophone, bass and drums line-up. Arguably, however, the inclusion of a keyboard, played by Geri Allen, isn't the album's most significant feature. True, during the course of the group's 23-year history, most of its work has been piano-less. But its unofficial curtain-raiser, Synthesis (Leo, 1986), made under bassist Reggie Workman's name, featured pianist Marilyn Crispell alongside the trio of Workman, altoist Oliver Lake and drummer Andrew Cyrille. More recently, pianist Irene Schweizer augmented the line-up for Berne Concert (Intakt, ...read more
Geri Allen Trio with Maurice Chestnut Finney Chapel, Oberlin Conservatory of Music Oberlin, OH February 12, 2009
On the evening of Feb. 12, a whiff of novelty hung over Tappan Square on the campus of Oberlin College, even though an unseasonably early thaw had already been driven from town by returning icy winds. But pianist Geri Allen was in Oberlin, set to perform at Finney Chapel with her quartet of piano, bass, drums and tap.Geri Allen
Tap? Yep. As in the fleet, percussive footwork of the young tap-dancing phenom ...read more
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Day two of the Portland Jazz Festival (PDX Jazz) was a bit of a rarity, with the sun burning away a thick layer of early morning fog, and temperatures rising to the mid-60s. But the majority of the heat was generated indoors, with a number of outstanding performances, and the continuation of the ECM Jazz Roundtable.
Chapter Index ECM Roundtable: Cover Art Jazz Dialogue: Charles Lloyd Diego Ramirez Geri Allen Trio Trygve Seim Don Byron Dave Douglas Quintet ...read more
The ties between jazz and the church, especially the African American church, run deep, going back to the music's formative years and continuing to the present, as three recent releases by jazz pianists attest.
Geri Allen Timeless Portraits and Dreams Telarc 2006 On Timeless Portraits and Dreams, Geri Allen expresses her religious faith as part of a broader vision of what jazz means to her. Backed by the peerless rhythm section of Ron Carter (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums), Allen performs a diverse set that includes her intricate original compositions, spirituals, ...read more
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