Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

190

JD Allen Trio: I AM I AM

By

Sign in to view read count
JD Allen can be a powerhouse, hard-driving tenor, but he is also capable of great subtlety and versatility. All three qualities are amply in evidence on I AM I AM, and were also front and center in a performance of his piano-less trio in March, 2008 at New York's Jazz Standard to mark the release of the recording.

Allen has picked his partners wisely. Bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston are canny interpreters of the ten Allen originals on the CD and complement his tenor voice throughout. Like their leader, they know when to hang back and when to cut loose and they possess talents of their own. August is no run-of-the-mill bassist—at the first of two sets at Jazz Standard he offered a wide range of sounds, soaring impressively in bowed and plucked solos that could seem very personal and idiosyncratic but supported Allen's overall vision. Royston also provided insightful rhythmic support with nuanced cymbal work. Live, in addition to his own boundary-pushing compositions and improvisations, the Detroit-born saxophonist put his stamp on the standard "The Nearness of You" with a soft and mellifluous reading that still maintained his edge (further proving that he is not easy, or willing, to be categorized).

Allen's originals hold up well over repeated hearings. Given the album's title, a listener might assume that Allen is making a statement about who he is and what he's about. But aside from a listing of somewhat enigmatic titles like "Titus," "id" and "Pagan," there is no explanatory information offered about either his biography or his music. But no matter. Allen, who played as a sideman with Betty Carter, Cindy Blackman, Orrin Evans and many others before forming his own groups, doesn't need to explain himself. Just listen.

Track Listing: I AM--I AM; The North Star; Hajile; Titus; Louisada; id; The Cross + the Crescent Sickle; Othello; Ezekiel; Pagan.

Personnel: JD Allen: tenor saxophone; Gregg August: bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: I AM I AM | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "A New Shade Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A New Shade Of Blue
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Nighthawks" CD/LP/Track Review Nighthawks
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Soulmation" CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Small Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Small Pieces
by James Nadal
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!