Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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Album Review

Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling

Read "Swirling" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Though Sun Ra departed Earth in 1993, his music has continued to thrive, first under the stewardship of John Gilmore and, since 1995, by the remarkable Marshall Allen who turned 96 in May 2020. A live Arkestra show still contains many of the elements that have been present since the 1950s and '60s-- color, pageantry and music boasting the entire history of jazz. There have also been some extraordinary continuities in the personnel of the band, with several members present ...

14

Album Review

Sun Ra Arkestra: Swirling

Read "Swirling" reviewed by Chris May


Saturn moved into the ascendant in October 2020 when the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen released its first studio album in over twenty years. Swirling presents new arrangements of both well-known and more obscure Ra tunes, played by a fifteen-piece lineup which includes band veterans and relative newcomers. It is a welcome addition to the Arkestra's near seventy-year catalogue. When Ra passed in 1993, tenor saxophonist John Gilmore, an on-off band ...

6

Festivals Talking

Moers Festival Interviews: Marshall Allen

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Marshall Allen" reviewed by Martin Longley


The Sun Ra Arkestra are spending a lot of time on the road in recent months, and since this interview was conducted a few weeks ago, their saxophonist and musical leader Marshall Allen has celebrated his 95th birthday. Your scribe met with him following an opening night gig at the Liège jazzfest in Belgium. It was in the all-standing Reflektor club, which immediately encouraged a more informal audience response, complete with drinking, gyrating and, when it was time for the ...

260

Megaphone

Marshall Allen: A Universe of Achievement

Read "Marshall Allen: A Universe of Achievement" reviewed by AAJ Staff


By Marshall AllenIt feels good to be receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vision Festival this month. Whenever somebody achieves something worthy, it's great to be recognized for it. The musicians who have received this award in the past include people that I have performed with, know and respect. I have received things like this before, like the Bluebird Award in Germany and some honorary mentions, but this award means a lot.The years have gone ...

943

Interview

Marshall Allen's Muse

Read "Marshall Allen's Muse" reviewed by Clifford Allen


Born May 25, 1924 in Louisville, KY, alto saxophonist Marshall Allen has been as much an institution of the Arkestra as Sun Ra himself. Joining the band in 1958 in Chicago, Allen became part of the most important saxophone section since Ellington's -for along with John Gilmore and Pat Patrick, Allen and the Arkestra offered an entirely new approach to the big band in the postwar era, in contexts as diverse as swing, bop and avant-garde. Following Ra's transition in ...

119

Album Review

Marshall Allen Quartet Featuring Mark Whitecage: Mark-n-Marshall: Monday

Read "Mark-n-Marshall: Monday" reviewed by AAJ Staff


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 ...


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