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Carl Allen


The pursuit of knowledge, experience, and ever-present swing is a recurring theme in the life of drummer/composer and Milwaukee native Carl Allen. It's a theme that began to take shape when, as a teenager, he performed with such greats as Sonny Stitt and James Moody and it's a theme to which he held fast as his musical quest took him to The University of Wisconsin - Green Bay (1979-81) and New Jersey's William Patterson College (1981-83). While at William Patterson, he pursued his life-long dream — the drum chair in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's band. He got the position in 1982 and remained with Hubbard for eight years - also serving as the trumpeter's musical director and road manager. Allen says, "my ultimate goal is to get to a level like Art Blakey, Art Taylor, Elvin Jones and Billy Higgins and these cats who, every time they sit down behind a set of drums it's swinging



Label: Smoke Sessions Records
Released: 2025
Track listing: Moments with You; Alone; Rapture; The Ice Queen; The Shadow of Your Smile; Blues for D.P.; Stella by Starlight; Since I Fell for You.


Article: Live Review

George Coleman at the 25th anniversary of Smoke Jazz Club

Read "George Coleman at the 25th anniversary of Smoke Jazz Club" reviewed by Paul Reynolds

George Coleman Smoke Jazz Club 25th Anniversary Concert New York, NY April 12, 2024 Jazz thrives in places that rarely endure for very long. Sure, there are the longtime jazz temples--the Village Vanguard in New York, Ronnie Scott's in jny: London, Preservation Hall in jny: New Orleans--but most premier clubs ...


The Good Life

Label: HighNote Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: If I Had You; Mr. D; Up and Down; Lowe Groovin’; 1, 2, 3, 4; Sister Tankersley; The Good Life.


To a Star

Label: Cellar Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Hot Stuff; Invitation; What Is This Thing Called Love; Tabasco Burn; Stars Fell on Alabama; JuJu; Isfahan; Speak Truth; One-Up-Man-Ship; To a Star.


Article: Multiple Reviews

Jakob Dreyer: Songs, Hymns And Ballads Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

Read "Jakob Dreyer: Songs, Hymns And Ballads Vol. 1 and Vol. 2" reviewed by Dave Linn

German-born bassist Jakob Dreyer grew up interested in many diverse music styles. He says, “As a little child I had a thing for national anthems, church hymns, and traditional songs with simple melodies that I could remember and sing." He began playing classical piano at a young age but also enjoyed playing the pop music he ...


Article: Album Review

George Freeman: The Good Life

Read "The Good Life" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For guitarist George Freeman, The Good Life has also been a long life. He was a nimble-fingered ninety-five-year-old plectrist when this splendid album was recorded in May and June 2022, which makes it all the more grievous to know it would be organ maestro Joey DeFrancesco's last recording date; he died of a heart attack some ...


Article: Album Review

Wayne Escoffery: Like Minds

Read "Like Minds" reviewed by Dave Linn

Wayne Escoffery was born in London and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. He began playing the saxophone at the age of 11, later studying at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In the late 1990s, Escoffery started gaining recognition on the jazz scene with ...


Article: Album Review

Artemis: In Real Time

Read "In Real Time" reviewed by Katchie Cartwright

For drummer Allison Miller, a key feature of In Real Time is that this second Blue Note release captures the unique ensemble sound of Artemis. She stresses a palpable sonic integrity that she attributes to trust and chemistry. Renee Rosnes emphasizes the singularity of each player in the equation, underscoring “a striking juxtaposition between the stylistic ...


Article: Interview

Wayne Escoffery: Still Forging Ahead

Read "Wayne Escoffery: Still Forging Ahead" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has a long, ongoing association with the Mingus Big Band organization, including a Grammy for Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard (Jazz Workshop, Inc., Sue Mingus Music, 2010). His career also includes a special relationship with trumpeter Tom Harrell, with whom he has played for many years. All that is enough to ...


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