It’s taken the legendary alto player Marshall Allen 50 years to record his debut as a leader – he first recorded with saxophonist James Moody in 1949 – but it was worth the wait. As anyone who’s seen Allen snapping his fingers and bobbing his head on his regular gig with the Sun Ra Arkestra can tell you, Allen can play some of the most excoriating horn lines around, but his main mission is to have fun. This Monday date is full of the sound of joy.
Much of the disc is attractively song-oriented. “Out Of Nowhere” moves from straight bebop to roaring free-bop over its 12 minutes, there’s an enjoyable romp through “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “When You Wish Upon A Star” takes Jiminy Cricket out for a woozy dance that Disney probably never imagined. “Albatross” and “Seven And a Half Steps” are free improvs, the former dark and ruminative, the latter charging, and tightly-wound.
On alto and soprano saxophones, Mark Whitecage provides mobile flutterings that perfectly complement Allen’s Johnny Hodges-meets-Ornette Coleman tone. Dominic Duval provides bass commentary in the revolutionary mode of Scott LaFaro and Gary Peacock: Killer harmonic imagination, and a rhythmic sense that is to die for. Luqman Ali, a longtime associate of Allen’s in the Sun Ra constellation, supports the group with crisp, propulsive drumming. Who says Mondays are all bad?
Track Listing: Mr.Whitecage, Meet Mr. Allen Out Of Nowhere When You Wish Upon A Star Star Wishing Fly Me To The Moon Albatross Seven and a Half Steps
Personnel: Marshall Allen - alto saxophone Mark Whitecage - clarinet, alto & soprano saxophones Dominic Duval - bass Luqman Ali - drums
Learning Jazz gave me a masters degree in music. Jazz is American Classical Music, came
out of a need to be heard, to be understood, a voice when black America did not have one.
This is why the music is more than just an art form, it was created from blood, guts and heart
of those who suffered in this world. Its not to be taken lightly. If you do take it lightly it will
never sound right. Thank you to all the courageous musicians who made the world hear
them, their innovation came out of their experiences of the time that they lived. A treasure to
the world. American Classical Music. Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate a quote by Clark Terry.