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Artist J. Main Releases. Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues. I got his debut album, In Search Of, the other night and sat and gave it a really close listen last night. I'll have to give it another listen, but my first impressions are that he kinda sounds like he's trying really hard to be some kind of weird hybrid of Coltrane and Rollins, yet doesn't really succeed.
That said, I found myself thoroughly enjoying his attempt. Of course, I also had to keep in mind this was his debut as a leader, and there is some definite promise there. With the exception of one avant garde-lite track which I found rather messy and pointless, the cat sounds like a keeper. I have his last few albums as a leader and really dig them, have also enjoyed his playing as a sideman with Jeremy Pelt's group and also with Allen Lowe. It's hard for me to put my finger on what i like about him I don't think he'll blow you away based on 30 second snippets or even listening to a full track here or there.
I can't think of a song i could post in a "listen to this " way that would blow anyone away. He's not creating interview jazz but he has something going on and i dig his flavour. What's really cemented me as a fan of his is his quartet album from , Grace. It's a masterpiece, IMO. Have been hanging out for the follow up, to the point where it's pretty much my most anticipated album of the year, and i see that Bloom is now available for preorder, however no word on the line up, which i'm very much hoping will be the same as Grace.
If it's not, i may pass. The chemistry in that group is amazing, everyone shines. Yeah, I actually found out about him by reading through many "best of " lists for Jazz albums. It seemed like Grace was at, or near, the top of every last one. Heard a little bit of the trio album that came before that The Bull And The Matador, I think it was called , and that sounded fantastic.
But, In Search Of was just a really odd experience. After the first couple of tunes I was thinking, "is this cat serious?! But, it's nice to know you've heard a lot more of him and still can't put your finger on what makes his music so appealing. Now I don't feel so bad for my confusion concerning him. Interesting, i actually thought that Grace was a bit slept on. I might have to pull back now because i don't want to contribute to it being perceived as overhyped! For me it's an album that doesn't look that interesting on paper but whenever i listen to it i just can't deny how much i enjoy it.
Maybe that sums up my feelings on Allen in general. Grace has a different vibe to his trio stuff, you could like one but not the other etc. I don't know if it'll be up your alley but if you're wanting to form a picture of Allen i suggest checking out, along with his trio stuff, The Talented Mr Pelt; it's the album that piqued my interest. He's one of those folks that I respect the hell out because they're still finding new-ish ways to work with an older-ish vocabulary, and at the same time and by the same token one of those guys I can't really love, for that same reason.
For me, form, ensemble texture, and group rhythm are the final frontiers such as they are either final or frontiers. Not a whole helluva lot of people are really pushing any of those frontiers today and still being classified as "jazz". Maybe "jazz" is at once its own problem and its own solution, but ever since Branford decreed that Fathead was not a jazz musician, I'm like, ok, then, thanks for the tip, ALL bets are off now.
But still and all, J. And I'm pretty piqued by what Jeremy Pelt's drummer is up to. But, I dunno, I respect lots of people, and truly love everybody. But the number of people I like Same thing with J. Space is the 13th note. On Americana , the trio use that freedom, stretching songs out and twisting them around. Americana is a rich, woody, intimate album. At a recent performance at the Art of Cool Festival in Durham, North Carolina, the band had even more fully inhabited the songs since recording the album in January.
Allen is a clear but not selfish leader. The trio drifted into free sections then merged back together smoothly. In short, this is modern jazz. The bluesier players are sometimes criticized as simplistic and backward-looking; the modern players take heat for losing the soul of the music. That strategy has risks, though. The blues should be in that music, the blues should bring that humanity and bring people into the music. The history of the particular photo is obscure.
Allen is not the only jazz musician to make this connection.Tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen was born in Detroit, Michigan, on December 11, He is a member of the third wave of Young Lion mainstream jazz players. As a young man, he was influenced by the great musicians in Detroit, but upon his arrival in New York City, his real apprenticeship began.