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...

3

Phil Allen's Concert Jazz Band: North Greenbush Blues

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
North Greenbush Blues marks the recorded debut of Indiana-born, New York State-based trombonist Phil Allen's glove-tight and remarkably robust Concert Jazz Band. The album has many pleasures, but what stands out most are Allen's impressive charts, which give the ensemble ample sustenance and reason to shine. Allen wrote six of the album's nine tunes and arranged every number including Dylan Canterbury's fast-moving "Speed Trap," Chris Pasin's melodious "Fragile Creature" and Gary McFarland's emotive "Why Are You Blue?"

The twelve-member ensemble encompasses three trumpets, four saxophones, two trombones and rhythm. Allen and Tyler Giroux play valve trombone exclusively, while tenors Kevin Barcomb and Nate Giroux alternated on the album's two recording dates, in June and July 2017. The rhythm, meanwhile, is in the capable hands of pianist Wayne Hawkins, bassist Lou Smaldone and drummer Michael Benedict. The CJB saunters from the starting gate with the sharply-grooved title theme, named for the town to which Allen and his wife Barbara relocated after moving from Colorado in 2014. Baritone saxophonist Scott Hall is the first among a number of engaging soloists to arrive, followed on the "Blues" by alto Dave Fisk and pianist Hawkins.

Canterbury's aptly named "Speed Trap" is one of the album's trio of "burners," the others being Allen's "Georgia Grump" (a brisk workout for the trombones based on "Sweet Georgia Brown") and emphatic "Northbeach," which rings down the curtain. Soloists are Hawkins, Barcomb and Canterbury on "Speed Trap," Allen and Tyler Giroux on "Georgia Grump," and Hawkins, trumpeter Steve Lambert and alto Dave Fisk on "Northbeach." Allen's "Winter Birds" is a lovely medium-tempo theme with tasteful solos by Lambert and Nate Giroux, "Sodwanna Bay" a lustrous waltz showcasing Allen and Canterbury. Tyler Giroux and alto Lee Russo are front and center on "Why Are You Blue?," trumpeter Pasin on his own "Fragile Creature." Allen wrote the tender ballad "Barbara," on which he solos with Hawkins (on electric piano), for his wife.

In sum, a generally impressive debut by Allen's Concert Jazz Band, which seems destined to move onward and upward as it advances toward maturity.

Track Listing: Track 1 - North Greenbush Blues, Track 2 - Speed Trap, Track 3 - Winter Birds, Track 4 - Sodwanna Bay, Track 5 - Why Are You Blue?, Track 6 - Fragile Creature, Track 7 - Georgia Grump, Track 8 - Barbara, Track 9 - Northbeach

Personnel: Phil Allen/leader, valve trombone, Dave Fisk/Alto Sax, Lee Russo/Tenor - Soprano Sax, Flute, Nate Giroux/Tenor Sax, Kevin Barcomb/Tenor Sax, Scott Hall/Bari Sax, Dylan Canterbury/Trumpet - Flugel, Chris Pasin/Trumpet - Flugel, Steve Lambert/Trumpet - Flugel, Tyler Giroux/Valve Trombone, Wayne Hawkins/Piano - Fender Rhodes, Lou Smaldone/Bass, Mike Benedict/Drums

Title: North Greenbush Blues | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: PGM

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb21Thu
The Concert Jazz Band
The Renaissance
Schenectady, NY

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019
Read Inner Rhyme Album Reviews
Inner Rhyme
By Hrayr Attarian
February 17, 2019
Read Yuna Album Reviews
Yuna
By Glenn Astarita
February 17, 2019
Read Places Album Reviews
Places
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 17, 2019
Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019