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JazzTimes 10: Great Saxophone Trio Albums

Listen to what can happen when the piano player takes a permanent stroll

A Night at the Village Vanguard by Sonny Rollins
A Night at the Village Vanguard by Sonny Rollins

JD Allen Trio: Shine! (Sunnyside, 2009)

One doesn’t ordinarily compare JD Allen’s tenor trio with Air. Allen’s ensemble is much more inside than the Threadgill/AACM collective, and much tighter—on most recordings Allen, bassist Gregg August, and drummer Rudy Royston keep a five-minute cap on tunes. But band name notwithstanding, not since Air has there been such a strong trio-as-trio identity. On Shine!, their second outing, Allen is just another extension of August and Royston’s white-knuckle swing in “Marco Polo” or “East Boogie (Kolby’s Theme).” Even when they drop time, as on “Ephraim,” the players are insolubly interlocked.

Preview, buy or download Shine! on Amazon!

Originally Published

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.