Seasoned trumpeter, composer and educator Eddie Allen's highly awaited Push
is a mix of mainstream jazz with generous sprinklings of urban flavors and reggae thrown into the mix. Allen and the excellent group of musicians he assembled for this release is simply riveting, with pure jazz and catchy flowing rhythms from start to finish. Allen states that the goal of this project was simply to create some good, "fun to listen to music."
The album opens with the hip, up-tempo "Nakia," on which Allen quickly shines through with a clean-breaking trumpet solo followed by Keith Loftie on tenor sax. Trombonist Dion Tucker
then kicks it up to the next level, followed by pianist Mark Soskin
and, finally, Misha Tsiganov
brings it home on the keyboards. "Sacred Ground" follows, beginning with flowing rhythms and a light swing tempo followed with smoothly galloping solos which complement each other. "Caress," "Who Can I Turn To" and "With Open Arms" are smoother, easily evoking images of easily slipping away and relaxing under a favorite tree on a quiet afternoon.
Things heat up again on the swinging, Bourbon Street-type groove of "Hillside Strut," which will surely have you up and moving. "Whispers in The Dark" and "Eve Deceived," not surprisingly, again feature crisp trumpet, trombone and keyboard solos, the first of which finds Allen making his instrument scream before handing it off to Tucker, who compliments with a lightly taunting solo, followed by Tsiganov.
The set concludes with the title track, and this is where it all breaks loose. Bassist Kenny Davis
begins by taking a heavy workout; from there, each musician moves in and out, trading and expressing rhythmic licks while taking their instruments almost to the limit before rebounding for a clean break finish. Push
is a first-rate recording, filled with breaking rhythms, smooth grooves, and pure "fun to listen to music."
Nakia; Sacred Ground; Caress; Hillside Strut; Who Can I Turn To;
Whispers In The Dark; With Open Arms; Eve Deceived; Push.
Eddie Allen: trumpet; Keith Loftis: tenor sax; Dion Tucker: trombone;
Misha Tsiganov: keyborads; Mark Soskin: piano; Kenny Davis: acoustic
bass; E.J.Strickland: drums.