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Marshall Allen Quartet: Mark-N-Marshall: Tuesday

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Mark-N-Marshall: Tuesday is a rather subdued outing for alto saxophonist and veteran Sun Ra affiliate Marshall Allen, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks adventure. In tenor saxophonist Mark Whitecage, Allen has found a kindred spirit, one who can dance around and intersect through Allen’s oblique passages without forging the melody as on the loose-limb reading of Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t,” and soar parallel as on the subversively funky “My Funny Valentine.”

Allen doesn’t unleash those shrieking multiphonics that distinguished his playing with Sun Ra, although he does get kind of hairy on “Altobatics.” Instead, his loosely coiled melodies prance around with an Ornette-ish gaiety. Bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Luqman Ali provide a supple rhythm section that gently pushes Allen and Whitecage forward while simultaneously adding rich colors and textures, as on the spellbinding, “Duval Calling.” Mark-N-Marshall: Tuesday is not an album that commands repeated play, but it softly piques the curiosities of those wanting to hear this great altoist outside of Sun Ra’s outer-spaceways.