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Album Review

J.D. Allen's sophomore release features Orrin Evans on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Gene Jackson on drums, with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt joining on three cuts. Listeners get a generous helping of original compositions — ten in all, along with a playful closing piece by Revis called "Question." Allen's tenor style can come so close to Blue Note-era Wayne Shorter as to be downright startling, but his writing shows signs of a refreshing originality. At his best, he can conjure moods of subtle and even breathtaking mystery, as on the rubato pieces "Queen Elisabeth" and "Pharoah's Children" or the dark, oddly constructed ballads "The Annex" and "House of Eugene." He also leads the band into free territory on "So Get Rid of the Midgets and Send in the Giants," and swings with gusto on tunes like "Action Jackson," "The Bitter Pill," and the opening "Our Man Revis." There's no mistaking Allen's immersion in the more adventurous side of '60s Blue Note, but he's clearly beginning to make significant, up-to-date statements of his own. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1974 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen was born in Detroit, MI, on December 11, 1972. He is a member of the third wave of Young Lion mainstream jazz players. As a young man, he was influenced by the great musicians who stayed in Detroit, but upon his arrival in New York City his real apprenticeship began, as he worked with such notables as George Cables, Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Frank Foster's Loud Minority big band, Butch Morris, David Murray, and Wallace Roney. His contemporary collaborators...
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