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  Telarc -
  Geri Allen: The Life of a Song
  "The Life of a Song"

Geri Allen (piano)
Dave Holland (bass)
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Marcus Belgrave (flugelhorn)
Dwight Andrews (saxophone)
Clifton Anderson (trombone)
Track listing:
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by avraham December 25, 2004 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one of those albums you keep returning to play. It is very reflective and joy to listen to the interplay of these three artists. Allen's piano is impeccable and she is backed up by what has to be the best rhythm section in Jazz. I have reviewed this album both in SACD stereo (headphones) and Surround. As you would expect I can hear more detail with the headphones, but the Surround sound stage leaves a very satisfying mood. Well recorded, worth the hi-res treatment. I look forward to more albums from Ms. Allen.

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Review by lenw July 16, 2005 (4 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Another Telarc album with great reviews verified by the listening experience. I would classify this album as leaning towards progressive jazz. The soundstage is wide and deep with excellent resolution of the instruments very clearly positioned.

“For her Telarc Records debut, pianist Geri Allen returned to the studio for the first time in six years to record an album of originals and standards. The Life of a Song, due Aug. 24, marks the reunion of the trio (Allen, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette) that backed vocalist Betty Carter’s 1993 album Feed the Fire.” -- Billboard

“When you listen to Geri Allen, you hear traces of such influences as Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock in her expressive playing. But the uplifting compositions on The Life of a Song, her first album in six years, coming August 24 on Telarc Jazz, were inspired by deeper, more personal connections.” -- ICE

“This record is simply a superb collection of expert contemporary jazz. Holland’s remarkable interplay with DeJohnette is an inspiring thrill.” -- Bass Player

“Allen is a giantess of jazz. She treats the piano as an orchestra, coaxing from its overtones the subtlest colors and shadings...This is Allen’s first album as a leader in six years and it’s her best, ripe with buoyant energy, sweet lyricism, and indigo blues...In whatever format, buy this.” -- The Absolute Sound

"This is a trio date that has all the elements: an indefatigable lyricism and honesty of emotion, as well as beautiful colors and deft, even uncanny engagement among the three principals. What a welcome return for Allen, who displays expertly she's been refining her chops and listening deeply to her Muse these past six years." -- All Music Guide

“She’s writing fresh, distinctive songs that are made even better when performed by a master trio.” -- JazzTimes

“Her lines are often angular and asymmetrical, with a texture and touch suggesting hammered sculpture rather than brush painting...superb.” -- Hot House

“As is the case with much of the album, the trio members are in constant communication with each other, creating a whole that is much greater than its individual parts. And each individual part is emblematic of some of the highest artistry jazz has to offer.” -- Popular Music and Society

“…her fingers seem to move over the piano like fresh water tumbling smoothly over rocks.” -- All About Jazz--LA

“Anytime you get Dave Holland and Jack deJohnette together, that's a date you have to check out. These three played together as a unit backing up Betty Carter 10 years ago and the vibe they forged on that tour has survived and blossomed.” -- Midwest Record Recap

“The rhythm section provides rock-solid support on The Life of a Song for the ethereal keyboard work of Allen, who wrote eight of these 11 songs.” *** -- Chicago Sun-Times

“The maturity of The Life of a Song, the first CD under pianist and Detroit native Geri Allen’s name in six years, suggests both a distillation and a leap forward. She’s pared down to a trio, and with the inspired and empathetic support of bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette, spins out discursive yet organic solos that unfold with the beauty of a rose opening to the sun.” **** -- Detroit Free Press

“Keyboardist Geri Allen snaps, crackles and pops like a young Ramsey Lewis on The Life of a Song.” B -- Philadelphia Daily News

“Brimming with verve, exquisite in design and sharply executed, The Life of a Song is a victorious return for Allen’s imaginative artistry." --

“You might need a couple of listens to warm up to Montclair-based Allen’s first album in six years, but it’s worth the time. The pianist’s music is technically seamless, full of spiraling, angular runs and her signature dissonant harmonies. But it also seems short on melodic handholds and is emotionally elusive. These dimensions emerge with repeated hearings; they are not dropped in your lap. Allen, a post-bop mainstay, is joined by an all-star rhythm section of drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Dave Holland.” -- Newark Star-Ledger

“For the Detroit-born bandleader, steeped in bebop and looking to reclaim a portion of the unpredictable, ever-shaky jazz market, Allen has rediscovered firm, solid ground.” -- Seattle Weekly

“Her best trio date perhaps since Twenty One a decade ago...A nice tension of free spirits in alignment.” **** -- DownBeat

“Some of this album’s new pieces—the bitonal melodic cycle of ‘LWB's House (The Remix)’ and the pulsating ‘Mounts and Mountains’—are among her best in years. And Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ and Bud Powell’s ‘Dance of the Infidels’ are rhythmically and harmonically rearranged to let new life enter into them.” -- The New York Times

“This splendid pianist who studied with Nathan Davis at the University of Pittsburgh is joined by drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Dave Holland. Except for two great versions of standards, the tunes are as original as the playing is excellent.” *** -- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“The Life Of A Song stands on its own as a superlative piano trio recording, full of delights throughout as well as personal feeling the comes through in the intensity of the playing. But also, it sparks the realization that Geri Allen has grown into pianist with her own vision that she expresses successfully through music. Entirely melodic even as Allen evolves each song into a gem-like object attracting multi-faceted fascination, the songs of the CD are accessible even as they are the product of complex musical development and exceptional musicianship by all of the members of the trio.” --

“In a time where so many artists are captivated by their own intent, their own severity, Allen stands out as an artist who is clearly just happy to be alive and doing what she loves, and this feeling dominates an album that shimmers and glows with its own buoyancy.” --

“This is by far the best jazz album Telarc has ever released, and it’s the best album pianist Geri Allen has ever recorded as a leader…The SACD is sonically superb- more vibrant and lifelike than the standard-CD pressing, which is awfully good on its own merits. Buy this. You can’t go wrong.” -- The Absolute Sound

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Review by DeSelby May 9, 2005 (0 of 5 found this review helpful)
stereo sonics: very good sound

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