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JAZZ BASTARD

November 2017: Geri Allen, Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Big Band, Thelonious Monk

Read "November 2017: Geri Allen, Thad Jones / Mel Lewis  Big Band, Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Welcome to our monthly look at what's happening on the Jazz Bastard podcast! November is packed, so let's get to it: Episode 127 (live November 1, 2017) looks at the early career of pianist Geri Allen, who died June 27 of this year. Neither of us had listened extensively to her recordings before, so Ethan Iverson's discussion of her early music from his “Do the Math" blog provided helpful guidance. We discuss Geri as an in-and-out player and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

ACS: Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding at Mesa Arts Center

Read "ACS: Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding at Mesa Arts Center" reviewed by Patricia Myers

ACS: Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding Mesa Arts Center Mesa, AZ October 22, 2013 The performance by ACS, the trio of pianist Geri Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and bassist Esperanza Spalding, was a bold collaboration that showcased each individual talent and their intense synergy. The repertoire included a salute to Wayne Shorter, via his charts, that the trio has been performing around the nation and overseas in observance of ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Geri Allen: Apollo's Muse

Read "Geri Allen:  Apollo's Muse" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Pianist/composer Geri Allen is gearing up for her role as artistic director for an especially ambitious production of the 2013 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival at the Apollo Theater. Presented as “Geri Allen & Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo," the program will offer two shows on May 11, 2013 that explore the legacy of such jazz greats as singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson, among others. One ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Geri Allen Quartet at the Kimmel Center

Read "Geri Allen Quartet at the Kimmel Center" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Geri Allen QuartetJazz Up Close Celebrates Thelonious Monk SeriesKimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Perelman TheaterPhiladelphia, PA December 4, 2010 Once, when asked to define “jazz," Count Basie simply replied, “Tap your feet." At this December, 2010 concert, the fourth member of pianist Geri Allen's quartet turned out to do just that. Maurice Chestnut is a brilliant youthful tap dancer who works with a variety of music ensembles. In this concert performance at Philadelphia's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Geri Allen: Solo and Quartet

Read "Geri Allen: Solo and Quartet" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Geri Allen Flying Toward The Sound Motema Music2010 Geri Allen & TimelineLiveMotema Music2010 One of the most accomplished jazz pianists of her generation, Geri Allen has long made music that combines the traditional and the avant-garde, the cerebral and the soulful, the restrained and the raucous. Her impressive resume includes '80s collaborations with Steve ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geri Allen: Geri Allen & Timeline Live

Read "Geri Allen & Timeline Live" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Remember the time when jazz and dance were simpatico partners? Where swing and tap were intertwined with lively music and sweltering choreography in joints, halls, and clubs. Probably not, but pianist Geri Allen does, as she reflects on those past golden moments and dares to create new ones with Geri Allen & Timeline Live. Allen's Timeline consists of an extremely versatile group that includes veteran bassist Kenny Davis (who has performed with Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron), the exciting ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geri Allen: Flying Toward The Sound

Read "Flying Toward The Sound" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

One of modern jazz's foremost pianists, Geri Allen exhibits a musical profundity that is coupled by lyricism and soul. Whether leading a trio of esteemed peers--Charlie Haden and Paul Motian--at that landmark venue, Live at the Village Vanguard (DIW, 2000), or giving homage to the obscure jazz matriarch, pianist Mary Lou Williams, with Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary Music, 2006), Allen is a composer/musician constantly gravitating towards new endeavors. Such is the case with Flying Toward the Sound ...

PROFILES

Geri Allen: Journey to the Light

Read "Geri Allen: Journey to the Light" reviewed by Greg Thomas

Geri Allen's playing and compositional efforts manifest a stylistic flexibility grounded in her absorption of the lessons of the masters of the jazz idiom, and her desire to innovate upon that legacy. As an apprentice during high school and college, and then as a journeywoman, Allen has kept company with musical legends. She just returned from a very successful European tour with “Timeline," a jazz quartet which integrates tap dance into its core arrangements; ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Geri Allen Trio with Maurice Chestnut at Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Read "Geri Allen Trio with Maurice Chestnut at Oberlin Conservatory of Music" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Geri Allen Trio with Maurice Chestnut Finney Chapel, Oberlin Conservatory of Music Oberlin, OH February 12, 2009

On the evening of Feb. 12, a whiff of novelty hung over Tappan Square on the campus of Oberlin College, even though an unseasonably early thaw had already been driven from town by returning icy winds. But pianist Geri Allen was in Oberlin, set to perform at Finney Chapel with her quartet of piano, bass, drums ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Spirituality in Jazz

Read "Spirituality in Jazz" reviewed by Joel Roberts

The ties between jazz and the church, especially the African American church, run deep, going back to the music's formative years and continuing to the present, as three recent releases by jazz pianists attest.

Geri Allen Timeless Portraits and Dreams Telarc 2006 On Timeless Portraits and Dreams, Geri Allen expresses her religious faith as part of a broader vision of what jazz means to her. Backed by the peerless rhythm section ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geri Allen: Timeless Portraits and Dreams

Read "Timeless Portraits and Dreams" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

There's a certain purity, perhaps innocence, about jazz that's played without the bells and whistles of modern technology and untainted by commercial trappings. When that purity is combined with superb songwriting, you have the makings of a recording that will never sound old. So it is with Timeless Portraits and Dreams. A native of Detroit, Geri Allen began taking piano lessons at age eleven. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in jazz studies, and she ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geri Allen: The Life of a Song

Read "The Life of a Song" reviewed by Francis Lo Kee

It's great to hear Geri Allen cut loose and play with abandon on this mostly trio effort (Mal Waldron's “Soul Eyes has trumpet, sax, and trombone briefly added). Hailing from Detroit and admittedly influenced by the Motown sound and feel, Allen plays with a refreshingly honest direction and immediacy. This particular trio, with Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland, has history backing singer Betty Carter on her '93 recording Feed the Fire.

“LWB's House (The Remix) sounds Latin rhythmically, though not ...


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