Jazz pianist Geri Allen was born June 12,1957, Detroit, and with the release of "Twenty One", her third recording for Blue Note, Allen honors the great jazz tradition to which she has become such a vital contributor in the 1990s. "It's a celebration record," explains the young veteran. "I wanted to do an album that challenged me to deal with the historical importance of the piano trio.
Many of the really great pianists have made recordings that paid homage to the pianists that came before them, playing the music of Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and others. I wanted to do a trio record that was in the same line, with a combination of classics and standards mixed in with some of my originals."
It was no simple task for Allen to follow up the triumphs of her two previous Blue Note dates--1991's The Nurturer, proclaimed a "landmark recording" by the New York Times, and 1992's Maroons, which Jazz Times dubbed Allen's "best album to date." In the stellar company of bassist Ron Carter and Tony Williams, Allen has given herself ample cause to rejoice. As she says of her composition, "RTG" (for Ron, Tony and Geri), which open "Twenty One" with an exciting flurry of disciplined energy, "I wanted to write something that would stand as a celebration of the moment." And, in the past year-and-a-half, through the recording of "Twenty One", the Detroit-born pianist has experienced many glorious moments to commemorate.
She's also accompanied vocal diva Betty Carter (resulting in the live recording Feed the Fire with Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland), and played in the quintet of trumpeter Wallace Roney, Allen's husband and former Howard University schoolmate.
"I always like to have the freedom to move in and out with my music," Allen says. "A couple of years ago I was very focused as a leader--playing solo and trio, playing my own compositions, writing for the theater--and that was the right thing to do at the time. But I really want to study this music again, and just when I think I need more inspiration, new information and other people's perspective on the music, what a great opportunity to have Ornette Coleman, Wallace Roney, Betty Cater, and Ron Cater and Tony Williams to kind of fuel me up again.
In addition to teaching as an Assistant Professor of Music at Howard and garnering such honors as that university's Distinguished Alumni Award, the SESAE Special Achievement Award, the Eubie Blake Award from Cultural Crossroads, and recognition as the top Talent Deserving Wider Recognition in Down Beat magazine's 1993 and 1994 Critics Polls, Allen has amassed a stunning resume of musical collaborations.
Allen feels the collaborative process that gave rise to "Twenty One" ranks with the brightest moments of her skyrocketing career. "I had really great fortune working with Ron Carter and Tony Williams," she says. "They are great masters in their own right. Having been so influenced by Herbie Hancock from my early beginnings on through today, Ron and Tony are my heroes, and it's hard to express how much it means to have had that moment to share music with them."
With "Twenty One" as another impressive milestone in her recording career, and an immediate future of further touring with the likes of Coleman, Carter, Roney and her own trio, Geri Allen has made strides toward bringing those goals within her expansive embrace.
Clique para conhecer Geri Allen e sua música.