Geri Allen

Open on All Sides in the Middle

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Electric and acoustic pianist Geri Allen joins with fellow Detroiters for one of her more ambitious projects, offering a large ensemble featuring bassist Jaribu Shahid, drummer Tani Tabbal, soloists David McMurray and trumpeters Rayse Biggs and Marcus Belgrave, and New Yorkers as saxophonist Steve Coleman and trombonist Robin Eubanks. The tour de force "I Sang A Bright Green Tear For All Of Us This Year" is stunning, featuring the wonderful vocals of Shahida Nurullah, insistent rhythm, haunting refrains from Allen's keyboards, and shifting dynamics that are compelling. The rest of the material is not as innovative within a jazz-funk/M-Base framework, but contrasts her piano trio work. Not essential, but still an invigorating session.

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