Oct 18, 2018
I don’t mind letting you know that Ben Allison is one of my favorite people in the jazz universe these days. He is a top notch composer, a first-call bassist, and an experienced producer with his own label, Sonic Camera. He maintains a busy schedule as an educator at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, as he has for more than twenty years. A founder and former artistic director of the Jazz Composer’s Collective, he has been a vocal supporter of artist’s rights. He now serves as President of the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy, the sponsors of the Grammy Awards. He’s articulate, and talking with him always makes for great conversation.
Oh, and he makes some pretty great albums.
Quiet Revolution began as a vinyl only subscription release on Newelle Records, but the rights to the recording reverted to Allison (as they do for all artists recording for the label) and he has now released that drummer-less trio session with additional material on CD and download. Long-time collaborator Steve Cardenas is on guitar, and Ted Nash plays saxophone on the album, which is intended to pay homage to the music made by Jim Hall and Jimmy Guiffre.
The CD allows each of the players to contribute a tune, while taking classic Hall compositions like “All Across the City” and Guiffre gems like “The Train and the River” and breathing new life into them. These are musicians who play together closely, and have a strong sense of where to place that next note or phrase. Without percussion to keep time or supply a pulse, the group nonetheless hangs together brilliantly, with Cardenas particularly memorable on “Move It” and Allison’s “Sleeping Tiger.”
Podcast 642 is my conversation with Ben Allison about Quiet Revolution and a number of his other projects. Musical selections include "Waltz New", "The Train and The River" and "Sleeping Tiger."