On his new album, Layers of the City, bassist, composer, producer Ben Allison and his group focus on melody, groove and texture in equal measures, engaging in the kind of group interplay that has become a hallmark of their style. Composed, arranged, produced and mixed by Ben, Layers of the City is a true tour-de-force by an artist who’s always pushing the boundaries of his self-expression. It’s his 12th album as a leader and 2nd to be release on his label Sonic Camera Records.
The album features Ben’s band Think Free, which is comprised of some of New York’s most creative improvising musicians, including Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Steve Cardenas (guitar), Frank Kimbrough (piano), and Allan Mednard (drums). Ben plays acoustic bass and, for the first time on record, electric bass.
“Layers of the City is a title that has a lot of meaning for me,” said Ben. “The ‘City’ in this case is New York, my home, where my parents were born, and where their parents arrived as immigrants. The people who live here are from everywhere. The layers of the city are reflected in the grime and uneven slope of old tenement buildings, the gleam and perfect angles of modern glass structures, the makeshift and the honed, the worn out and the state of the art, and everything in between. These juxtapositions, coupled with the cultural diversity of NYC, produce a unique kind of energy and vitality. This is why I live here.”
JazzTimes is proud to present “The Detective’s Wife,” the 5th track from Layers of the City.