Home » Jazz Articles » Jon Raskin / Phillip Greenlief: 2 + 2 with Jen Baker & Liz Allbee


Album Review

Jon Raskin / Phillip Greenlief: 2 + 2 with Jen Baker & Liz Allbee


Sign in to view read count
Jon Raskin / Phillip Greenlief: 2 + 2 with Jen Baker & Liz Allbee
Innovative saxophonists Jon Raskin and Phillip Greenlief use graphic scores for a series of recordings, each with a similar pair of instruments. These collaborations are called 2 + 2. The first of these is the provocative 2 + 2 with Jen Baker & Liz Allbee. As the title indicates Raskin and Greenlief join two brass players, trombonist Jen Baker and trumpeter Liz Allbee. The resulting music, both improvised and interpreted, is a stimulating conversation of four unique yet synergistic voices within a dramatic ambiance.

The musicians' exchanges are often abstract and sometimes impressionistic, as heard on the "Light Bending." Long, mournful, and clear collective phrases, halfway through, make a sharp angular turn and quiver with vibrato. Then they resume their straight path and hauntingly fade into silence.

Elsewhere, on "Geomorphs," two overlapping saxophones and Baker's growling trombone create crystalline structures. The tune's hard edges gleam with muted hues as Albee contributes to the expectant mood with her reverberating tones. Raskin and Greenlief engage in a crisp and clever dialogue while Baker and Allbee respond with long angst-filled lines. Passionate give and take of honks, squawks and delightful dissonance close the track.

Allbee opens the cinematic "Night Town" with a mellifluous solo that echoes in the enveloping silence. She stretches out on a complex and eloquent improvisation that ushers in a serene and gentle duet with one of the saxophonists. Pillowy growls, pops, and whistles coalesce into a hypnotic and eerie piece that conjures images of dark and deserted streets. Midway through an Eastern mysticism permeates the performance with chant-like drones and haunting melodies. Exploring the full range of their individual horns and the contrast in their timbers, the group concludes on a tranquil note.

This is a brilliant album that stimulates and moves with its adventurous spirit and its creative ingenuity. It is a multilayered work that demands attention from its audience. Hence, although not necessarily accessible to casual listeners, it rewards those who surrender to it with an open mind.

Track Listing

Tableaux; Geomorphs; Light Bending; Night Town; 2 + 2.


Jon Raskin: saxophone, baritone; Phillip Greenlief: saxophone; Liz Allbee: trumpet; Jen Baker: trombone.

Album information

Title: 2 + 2 with Jen Baker & Liz Allbee | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



John La Barbera
Cry Me A River
Hilario Duran
Oblong Aplomb
Matt Mitchell
The Defector
Henry Spencer


Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio
Afro Futuristic Dreams
Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
Pharoah (Box Set)
Pharoah Sanders
Dynamic Maximum Tension
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society

On the record

Vibes on a Breath
Ted Piltzecker
Jonathan Karrant
Brazilian Match
Luiz Millan
Double Portrait
Giuseppe Millaci and the Vogue Trio

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.