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.

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Moanin'" CD/LP/Track Review Moanin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Open Air" CD/LP/Track Review Open Air
by John Kelman
Published: June 2, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.