Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ben Allison: Cowboy Justice

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Bassist Ben Allison’s new album is a political statement as well as an artistic one. And his politics are decidedly Democratic. Without uttering a single word-OK, maybe in his liner notes he pens a few-Allison takes aim at Bush, Cheney and the rest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

His quartet introduces elements of rock into its jazz right away on “Tricky Dick,” a mischievous ode to the vice president marked by the infectious, varied drumming of Jeff Ballard. Spanish influences like flamenco and bolero seem to inform the playing of trumpeter Ron Horton here and throughout the disc, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the whole band listened to the spaghetti-Western themes of Ennio Morricone as they prepared to record Cowboy Justice.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.