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Timeless Portraits and Dreams

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Album Review

Geri Allen's musical interests prove to be quite diverse in Timeless Portraits and Dreams, delving into jazz, spirituals, sacred works and originals, accompanied by two of the most in-demand veterans, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Jimmy Cobb, throughout most of the release. Allen''s stunning solo opener "Oh Freedom" segues directly into another fine work, "Melchezedek," which showcases both Allen and Carter in the solo spotlight, with wordless vocals by the Atlanta Jazz Chorus adding background color. Singer Carmen Lundy and the chorus are on hand for the spirit-filled "Well Done" and Allen's gorgeous ballad "Timeless Portraits and Dreams." Other vocal tracks include two features for tenor George Shirley, including "I Have a Dream" (from Mary Lou's Mass composed by Mary Lou Williams after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and a vigorous treatment of the piece considered as the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Trumpeter Wallace Roney (Allen's husband) smolders in Allen's tasty post-bop vehicle "In Real Time" and makes a belated entrance in the tense, strident tribute "Our Lady (For Billie Holiday)." Allen throws the listener a curve with her well-disguised introduction to the trio arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Ah-Leu-Cha" and uncovers a neglected gem in Lil Hardin Armstrong's ballad "Just for a Thrill." While some jazz fans may prefer to hear Geri Allen in a strictly instrumental setting, they will miss out if they fail to investigate these stimulating sessions. Highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Great album from one of the greatest jazz pianists.

Firstly, let's just agree to pass over Funk E's bizarre and stupid review...he must've been to one too many tea parties... Geri Allen has been a consistently wonderful musician and pianist for all of the 15-plus years I've been listening. She has a wonderful touch on the piano, a beautiful emotional expressiveness, monster technique, totally cool improvisational talent, and a huge grasp of every jazz idiom you could think of. Ever since I heard her "Etudes" trio record with Charlie Hayden and (I think?) Jack DeJohnette, I've been hooked. I've not heard her sing until now, and she sings beautifully and from the heart. She's a fantastic musician, and I'm greatful for another wonderful album....recommended for fans of jazz piano and of sincere and beautiful music. Great arrangements -- the chorus is an especially nice addition.

Well Done!

Geri All is a beautiful pianist and vocalist. Ms. Allen has a special love and appreciation for her music and vocal gifts. Though I love this entire album tremendously, I have to pay a speical tribute to selection five (5), Well Done. I don't beleive there is any more to say, other than, her praise to her Lord is simply, Well Done!

Geri Allen um...her "title"

Her cover is totally GORGEOUS!!! I really really really wanted her to sing more!!! Her songs have like a whole lot of meaning to them and are like sooooo insparational!!!!! Her music also reminds me of the kind they play at tea parties!!! AWESOME!!!!!


Born: June 12, 1957 in Pontiac, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Geri Allen is the quintessence of what a present-day mainstream jazz pianist should be. Well-versed in a variety of modern jazz styles from bop to free, Allen steers a middle course in her own music, speaking in a cultivated and moderately distinctive voice, respectful of, but not overly impressed with, the doctrine of conservatism that often rules the mainstream scene. There is little conceptually that separates her from her most obvious models -- Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Bill Evans primary...
Full Bio
Timeless Portraits and Dreams, Geri Allen
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  • $14.85
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Aug 22, 2006

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