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

Geri Allen is one of the most broadly talented and thoughtful musicians of her generation, qualities that contributed to her being named winner of the 1996 JAZZPAR prize. The prize carried with it requests for performances, but also a commission for Allen to compose a piece for her trio, augmented by a number of players from the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. The trio work, featuring Palle Danielsson on bass and Lenny White on drums, balances White’s effusion of ideas against Danielsson’s sense of development and extension, creating a variety of textures against which Allen works marvelously. They are joined by fluegelhornist Johnny Coles for a lovely reading of “Old Folks” before launching into two pieces for Nonet (four brass, two reeds and rhythm): “Smooth Attitudes” by Jens Winther, lush and lilting, and Allen’s contribution, the title track. As an example both of Allen’s sense of longer form and of larger ensembles, it is interesting-but frankly, it’s wholeness and beauty transcend such considerations.

Originally Published