All posts in March 2013

JD Allen “Grace”

I am happy and excited to be apart of JD Allen’s new record “Grace” (Savant Records). Dezron Douglas (bass) and Eldar Djangiov (piano) accompanied and explored on this record. What you’ll find on “Grace” is mixing and matching altitudes with a constant pulse. “Be like the wind” was the quote of that JD Allen conveyed throughout the recording session. I set aside my bag of tricks and entered into a familiar but unfamiliar territory…. “The Big Room.”
All 11 tracks resemble the facets of life that we deal with whether we like to or not; silence, crying, commitment, and going against the norm. Ultimately I found myself content and at peace by the honesty I put forth with the music.
Be on the look out April 23 (release date).

Grace- undeserved favor.

Excerpt from the New York Times April 19, 2013.
(by Nate Chinen)
J. D. Allen


“Grace” (Savant), the latest post-bop dispatch from the tenor saxophonist J. D. Allen. It comes from an unexpected source: the pianist Eldar Djangirov, a former child prodigy whose own music tends to exude certainty and closure. Mr. Allen hasn’t featured a pianist of any sort on his albums over the last five years, so Mr. Djangirov’s mere presence is one surprise here; that it works so marvelously, with such intriguing elasticity, is another.

“Grace” divides into two acts, intended to frame a dramatic arc, but Mr. Allen doesn’t push the concept: he’s more interested in what he can physically achieve with his knockabout rhythm section, which also features the bassist Dezron Douglas and the drummer Jonathan Barber. His sound on tenor, soulful and centered, still suggests the John Coltrane of, say, “Crescent,” but he has internalized that sound so fully that it feels like his own, even on a Coltrane-ish ballad like “Selah (My Refuge).” This is what a dynamic young jazz group can sound like when history’s burden is carried lightly but honestly.