Allen's assertive tone and the openness of his orchestration maintain a distinct, focused directionality on each track. "Son House," "Marco Polo" and "Variation" call to mind the entire tradition of sax/bass/drums trios, from Sonny Rollins to Steve Lacy to David Murray. The Ornette Coleman-inspired "East Boogie" expands and flows freely, without compromising the integrity of the time-feel and clear tonal center set up by the head. August's wonderful tone is most evident on "Set'lah" and "Teo (Ted's Theme)" and Royston's contributions flow with intensity and sensitivity throughout.
No tune on the record strays far past the five-minute mark, the goal being to spread a wide range of moods and colors from one track to the next, rather than packing an array of contrasting ideas into a single extended work. Allen cites the long-lost "juke box mentality" as the precedent for his emphasis on brevity, which not only attests to his reverence for the artists who've influenced him, but also mirrors newer mp3-influenced trends in music. In an era focused on eclecticism and verbose musical demonstrations, Allen's music celebrates the strict path of continuously refining and enriching a vision that is firmly rooted in the tradition of adventurous jazz.
Track Listing: Esre; Sonhouse; Conjuration of Angles; Marco Polo; Shine; The Laughing Bell; East Boogie (Kolby's Theme); Ephraim; Angel; Teo (Ted's Theme); Se'lah; Variation.
The first jazz record I bought was Bill Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard. When I was in high school, I somehow stumbled
across the track My Man's Gone Now and was instantly transfixed. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever heard. So I saved up
(times were hard for a teenager back then) and went out and bought the album.
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