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Geri Allen Trio/Jazzpar 96 Nonet: Some Aspects of Water

On this live recording, pianist Geri Allen, the recipient of the 1996 Danish JAZZPAR prize, plays three tunes in a trio format, with Danish bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Lenny White, and two tunes with the JAZZPAR nonet, which includes musicians drawn from the ranks of the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. On the ballad “Old Folks,” the trio is joined by veteran Johnny Coles on fluegelhorn. The six tunes that make up this release exhibit Allen’s authority and rhythmic intensity. Both her own “Feed the Fire” and the standard “A Beautiful Friendship” are uptempo numbers. Allen’s lyrical opening on this second tune gives way to a swinging tempo. She plays like a cyclone on this number, with magnificent attack and breathtaking speed. Danielsson and White also turn in strong solos. On the beautifully arranged “Smooth Attitudes,” performed by the nonet, tenorist Uffe Markussen is featured. He plays bass clarinet on the title tune, an abstract, dense, and dissonant composition. Allen is commanding throughout.

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