All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

JD Allen: Love Stone

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Beneath this tough tenor's exterior rests the most tender of spirits. If you need evidence, just spend some time with Love Stone.

After carving out his rightful place at the apex with a series of brilliant piano-less trio outings focused on pithy originals, saxophonist JD Allen recently felt the winds of change in his horn and his habits. He reached a conclusion that originality may sit not in the song's architect but in its possessor, and he came to an understanding that the most outside experiences may actually be connected to the greatest acts of looking inward. So rather than cast his own pen in a new light again, Allen took to the challenge of investing his strong-willed spirit into a series of time-tested ballads. The results are simply breathtaking.

Working with his acclaimed trio—featuring bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston—and rounding out the group with guitarist Liberty Ellman, Allen explores nine vintage titles. He cuts right to the heart—both of song and receiver—while remaining true to himself in the process. Perhaps his success in navigating these chestnuts is related to his deep immersion in their lyrics. Or maybe it's just a reflection of his signature directness.

Opening with a flowing "Stranger Of Paradise" that, at just over six minutes, stands as the album's longest track, Allen proves that sensitivity buoyed by strength may be the best salve to heal what ails us today and always. The eight tracks that follow continue to make that point without ever treading over flattened ground. With masterful use of space, suggestion, and, of course, sound, Allen and company deliver one masterpiece after another—an "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" with an after-hours vibe, a "Put On A Happy Face" with a wide beat and artfully incisive Allen and Ellman statements, a "Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)" that's the musical embodiment of downcast beauty, and a handful of others. There's not a wasted second from start to finish on Love Stone. To say this is a consequential recording would be truth framed in understatement; to call it essential would be far more accurate.

Track Listing: Stranger In Paradise; Until The Real Thing Comes Along; Why Was I Born?; You're My Thrill; Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies; Put On A Happy Face; Prisoner Of Love; Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You); Gone With The Wind.

Personnel: JD Allen: tenor saxophone, Liberty Ellman: guitar; Gregg August: bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Title: Love Stone | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Savant Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Love Stone

Love Stone

Savant Records
2018

buy
Americana

Americana

Savant Records
2016

buy
Graffiti

Graffiti

Savant Records
2015

buy
Victory!

Victory!

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
Shine!

Shine!

Sunnyside Records
2009

buy
Shine

Shine

Sunnyside Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "No Revenge Necessary" CD/LP/Track Review No Revenge Necessary
by Doug Collette
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Air Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review Air Guitar
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2018
Read "Circle of Chimes" CD/LP/Track Review Circle of Chimes
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018