October 30th, 2012
JD Allen and his wonderful trio played Friday night at Poncho Hall at Cornish College as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.
The 2012 Earshot Jazz festival continues. Click on the schedule here 2012 Earshot Jazz Festival
Hailed by the New York Times as “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style,” JD Allen is a bright, rising light on today’s international jazz scene. His unique and compelling voice on the instrument – the result of a patient and painstaking confrontation with the fundamentals of the art – has recently earned Allen a blaze of attention.
His latest recording, Victory! (Sunnyside, 2011), received four-stars in DownBeat and ranked as the third best jazz album of 2011 by NPR. The Victory! band, Allen’s longstanding trio with Gregg August (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums), features on tonight’s concert.
Originally from Detroit, Allen’s apprenticeship, anchored by his lengthy tenure with Betty Carter, occurred largely in New York, where he worked with legends Lester Bowie, George Cables, Ron Carter, Winard Harper, Butch Morris, David Murray and Wallace Roney. He added his voice to contemporaries Cindy Blackman, Orrin Evans, Dave Douglas, Jeremy Pelt, Gerald Cleaver and Nigel Kennedy as well.
Following praise for his first two releases, Allen began an association with Sunnyside Records in 2008: I Am I Am features Gregg August (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) and garnered rave reviews from the New York Times, Time Out NY, and DownBeat.
In 2009, Allen released follow-up Sunnyside recording Shine!. Word-of-mouth praise for the album led Lorraine Gordon, owner of the Village Vanguard, to invite him and his trio for a weeklong stint. The New York Times reviewed the residency, commending Allen for his trio’s “fearless approach to a formidable tradition.”