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iTunes Review

Victory! is the third release by the J. D. Allen Trio, following 2008’s I Am I Am, and 2009’s Shine! This excellent group is clearly inspired by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane classics, but somehow the music comes off as vital rather than retro. There is something no-nonsense about this focused unit — Allen on tenor sax, bassist Gregg August and drummer Roy Royston — and yet they are able to incorporate the vibe of free jazz, a style that can be home to rambling. The 11 Allen originals are all five minutes or less and feature striking melodies. Royston is a superb drummer who swings and clatters in delightful ways: he makes a lot of his contemporaries sound cautious and fussy. And August anchors the group with a warm, enveloping tone. The opening title cut starts off with martial drumming and a head-nodding bass line before Allen enters with his soulful, refined, and blues-tinged playing. It’s a gripping performance, and the album maintains that level of quality throughout. Victory! includes a cover of the Glenn Miller hit “Stairway to the Stars,” and it’s a gem.

Victory!, JD Allen Trio
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: May 17, 2011

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