Straddling her residencies between New York City and Amsterdam, trumpeter Allison Philips has been performing since age fourteen, eventually landing at venues that have included Le Poisson Rouge, Iridium, and The Jazz Standard. Leading a quartet, she played the 2014 Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Philips has a BFA in Jazz Performance from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and is working toward Masters in Jazz Performance at The Conservatorium Van Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. Her debut album, the self-titled Allison Philips Trio, is an EP that signals what is likely the start of a very promising career.
Phipips' trio mates include the talented young bassist Alessandro Fongaro whose leader debut Neither More Nor Less (Mainline Records, 2016) was a revelation in its own right. Drummer Robin van Rhijn played at the North Sea Jazz Festival when he was sixteen. The Netherlands native studied music throughout Europe and with John Hollenbeck, Martijn Vink and Kresten Osgood. The winner of multiple jazz awards, he is based in Amsterdam.
Philips penned three of the four pieces on Allison Philips Trio with "Saginaw Michigan" being from the late rockabilly legend, Lefty Frizzell. "Triad Tune" demonstrates Philips confidently controlled improvisations as she modulates pitch and darts about the melody with calm precision. In contrast, van Rhijn sharply executes his own improvisations while the piece is anchored by Fongaro's earthy bass. The more soulful "Wheel" is a thoughtful synthesis of composition and spontaneity. "Line" appropriately opens with Fongaro's buoyant playing setting the forward motion. The flow rises and falls on Philips and van Rhijn's direction; at times the sound is full, at others minimal.
Throughout these works Philips consistently applies a sophisticated melodic aptitude to the compositions and the trio interactions. Her playing is fluid and warmly radiant with pure tones and an organic sense of connection to the overall musical environment. For a young artist, Philips' writing, like her playing, show remarkable maturity and van Rhijn and Fongaro are excellent in the group context and in their solos.
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