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Jazz Articles about Mark Allen

39
Album Review

Jim Levendis: The Big Band Project

Read "The Big Band Project" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Jim Levendis knew that time was running out. In his mid-seventies, the veteran Philadelphia-area trumpeter and educator had contracted ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), the effects of which were rapidly sapping his energy and ability to function. As the disease progressed, Levendis confided in Len Pierro, a band mate in the Ward Marston band, that there was one thing he would dearly love to do while he was still able: record some of the big-band arrangements he had written over the ...

7
Album Review

Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Mark Corroto


If we alter President John F. Kennedy's 1962 moon spaceflight speech just a bit, it easily fits the big band adaptation of Muhal Richard Abrams' magnum opus Soundpath, “We choose to perform this composition not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept." Accepting the challenge was band leader Bobby Zankel and ...

2
Album Review

Warriors of the Wonderful Sound: Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala


Nel 2011 il sassofonista di Filadelfia Bobby Zankel, leader della big band The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound e promotore di laboratori di musica contemporanea, propose a Muhal Richard Abrams un lavoro compositivo che avrebbe dovuto essere affidato alla band, con la direzione dello stesso pianista. Operazioni di questo tipo erano già state realizzate da Zankel negli anni precedenti con le musiche per big band di Julius Hemphill, dirette da Marty Ehrlich, poi con composizioni di Rudresh Mahanthappa e Steve ...

8
Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Flourtown, PA native Len Pierro unveils one monster big band album that will be reverberating well beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania and from radio studios throughout the jazz landscape for quite a long time. The Third Quarter is The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra's recent offering and what an offering of fresh original compositions and re-imagined jazz standards it is. The 63-year-old saxophonist has produced one heck of an album of traditional straight-ahead swinging jazz that defines what ...

5
Album Review

The Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra: The Third Quarter

Read "The Third Quarter" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any big-band album that opens with a rollicking Four Brothers-style saxophone soli is all but guaranteed to capture one's ear and interest. As it turns out, the buoyant “Fill in the Gap," on which the sax section sparkles, is but the first of many sonic delights on The Third Quarter, a marvelous new CD by Philadelphia-based composer / arranger Len Pierro and his world-class Jazz Orchestra. Simply put, there are no discernible blemishes to mar a bright and picturesque tour ...

10
Extended Analysis

Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017) was a revered pianist, composer and teacher of great capability and range who, in addition to his own achievements, inspired and influenced many jazz musicians in both the mainstream and avant-garde categories. Largely self-taught as a result of a personal decision to follow his own path, and early on pursuing church music, big band, blues, bebop and avant-garde jazz in his home city of jny: Chicago, he grasped music from its roots, and so was able ...

6
Album Review

Norman David: The Eleventet - Please Call

Read "The Eleventet - Please Call" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Norman David founded and has been leading Philadelphia's Eleventet for over three decades. After thirty years playing in in and around the city, the band found their recording groove with their first CD, At This Time (Norman David/Coolcraft, 2011). Now, in this new release, they deliver swinging and ear-popping sounds while at the same time offering nuances, subtleties, and creative ideas that generate interest for the more serious listener. David plays a mean soprano sax, while ...


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