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Ben Allison: Quiet Revolution (Sonic Camera)

Valuable chunks of the jazz canon go undistinguished—no doubt about that. But while the process of honoring the classics may be forever heroic, there’s no guarantee that listeners will be engaged by past glories. To make hay with yesteryear, artists must imbue the tunes with a personal vision. Sometimes that means upending the originals, sometimes … Read More “Ben Allison: Quiet Revolution (Sonic Camera)”

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Ben Allison: Layers of the City (Sonic Camera)

“Blowback,” the sixth track on bassist Ben Allison’s 12th album as a leader, is an object lesson in the transmutational possibilities that a piece of music can contain. An Allison original, it first appeared on his 2008 disc, Little Things Run the World, where it came off like an exercise in severe temporal displacement, with … Read More “Ben Allison: Layers of the City (Sonic Camera)”

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Ben Allison: The Stars Look Very Different Today

Bassist-composer Ben Allison puts together such great bands you can’t help but regret his tendency to record each of them only once. But with standout guitarist Steve Cardenas remaining a constant through the changes, and each new group capturing you with its own distinctive effects, you’re too caught up in the moment to dwell on … Read More “Ben Allison: The Stars Look Very Different Today”

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Ben Allison: Action-Refraction

A departure for bassist and composer Ben Allison, whose nine previous recordings featured mostly original material, this album focuses on covers, tackling material by artists as diverse as PJ Harvey, Donny Hathaway, Neil Young and Samuel Barber. Also included are a Monk tune, the Williams-Nichols pop standard “We’ve Only Just Begun” and a reworked original … Read More “Ben Allison: Action-Refraction”

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