190

JD Allen Trio: I AM I AM

By

Sign in to view read count
JD Allen Trio: I AM  I AM 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.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Everything's Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Beautiful
by Asher Wolf
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Standard Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Standard Blue
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Basement Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Blues
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 4, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!