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Geri Allen: Mothership Connection

Geri Allen
Wallace Roney and Geri Allen
Geri Allen
Wallace Roney and Geri Allen

It’s Monday night and the house is jumping. No, we’re not in some famous jazz haunt like the Village Vanguard-we’re in Upper Montclair, N.J., and Geri Allen is standing at her stove, hooking it up like all loving moms do. Dinner tonight? Brussel sprouts, baked chicken and macaroni and cheese.

Allen is catering to her three energetic children-Laila, 14; Wally, 8; and Barbara, 6-and the family’s good-natured but rambunctious pooch, Krypto, when suddenly Wallace Roney enters the house. After exchanging pleasantries with his wife and children, Roney heads upstairs, grabs his trumpet and blazes through a series of scales with pinpoint precision.

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Originally Published

John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.