RSVP for Hasselblad, 6.15, HERE
TICKETS FOR LPR Presents at NuBlu, JDA3, Monday, 6.18, HERE
+ JDA3 APPEARING ON WBGO THIS MONDAY, 6.18 *LIVE* ON WBGO’S AFTERNOON JAZZ WITH BILL DAUGHTERY AT 4PM– please TUNE IN!
“If you’d like to measure an improviser’s sincerity under a harsh light, ask him to play an entire album’s worth of ballads. Without quick tempos or ready-made energy to lighten the load, cracks reveal themselves quickly. But this tenor saxophonist has somehow managed to pull it off. He plays in a style guided closely by his antecedents — Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis — but it’s personal and steadfast enough to establish its own convictions. At Nublu 151, Mr. Allen celebrates the release of “Love Stone” — nine ballads, mostly sourced from the back pages of the great American songbook — joined by the bassist Gregg August and the drummer Rudy Royston.” – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO, NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS’ PICK (6.15)
“The first thing that comes to mind when you think of tenor saxophonist JD Allen may well be power — the full-toned, heavy-tread intensity he can bring to any musical setting. But on his new album, Love Stone, he seeks out beauty in the most straightforward form, with tenderness and low-flickering calm… it’s an all-ballads affair, but one with plenty of swirling intrigue underfoot….the smoke of his tone and the drawl of his phrasing, which remains rooted in melody.” – NATE CHINEN, WBGO’S TAKE FIVE
“The tenor saxophonist and composer JD Allen is at the zenith of the jazz saxophone scale, which isn’t difficult to understand when you hear him play. He has a big bold tone like Sonny Rollins that runs through your soul, and then you are hooked…“Love Stone” is a collection of ballads that gives him an extended opportunity to spread a little tenderness.” – RON SCOTT, THE AMSTERDAM NEWS
“…an abiding emotional inclusiveness to the album that allows listeners to feel unrestrictedly in on the affair.” – DEREK TAYLOR, DUSTED
“All those marvelously deep notes are imprinted on our minds, uttered with warm tones and infallible precision. They uplift the spirit...In a quietly revolutionary mode, JD deftly reimagines familiar tunes with a sharp, affective, and pragmatic vision. The pristine glow of his saxophone brings us back the joy of listening to these sweet old songs. Tradition has its place in the modern jazz and this impressive album is probably what your ears have been aching for.” – FELIPE FREITAS, JAZZTRAIL
“JD Allen plays Vanguard tenor; worthy of comparison to Sonny and Coltrane with Elvin at the Vanguard, the music that got to me as a teenager and has stayed with me ever since…JD’s concept, his sound and his execution took me there.” – BOB BLUMENTHAL, lauded jazz critic & author of Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins
“… this beautiful and intensely interesting ballads album is an assured milestone in his career to date. There are patented JD-isms…proves again that it is one of the most highly accomplished small groups in contemporary jazz.” – REPUBLIC OF JAZZ
“Passion & Poetry….There was an emotional depth to Allen’s playing that transformed blues lines into poetry….melody counts mightily to him, whether written or improvised...grace and passion…” - Bill Beuttler, THE BOSTON GLOBE
“I wanted to play as avant garde as I, myself, could get in today’s dark times - by simply trying to play something beautiful.” – JD ALLEN
PROLIFIC, THOUGHTFUL TENOR SAXOPHONIST/COMPOSER JD ALLEN RELEASES LONG-AWAITED BALLAD RECORD “LOVE STONE” WITH HIS QUARTET ON SAVANT RECORDS JUNE 15, 2018
GORGEOUS COLLECTION OF RENEWED SIREN SONGS FEATURING LIBERTY ELLMAN ON GUITAR ALONGSIDE GREGG AUGUST ON BASS AND RUDY ROYSTON ON DRUMS,
THE VETERAN BANDMATES WHO HELPED SPARK A FLAME FOR PIANOLESS TRIO A DECADE AGO
JD’S SIGNATURE “LOVE TONE” PREVAILS AND IS GUIDED BY THE CONTINUUM OF HIS CLASSIC TRIO PLUS ONE
For a decade now, tenor saxophonist JD Allen has anchored his eponymous trio, supported by drummer Rudy Royston and bassist Gregg August. Allen’s ragged, searching tone is redolent of jazz’s blues heritage, and his playing reflects his pedigree as a grandson of the Delta, a son of Detroit, and a leader of modern jazz. The New York Times praised Allen’s “fearless approach to a formidable tradition.”
Love Stone features JDs long standing trio, known as “the three headed monster” (Burning Ambulance) plus special guest, guitarist Liberty Ellman (Henry Threadgill, Vijay Iyer) adding new colors to each ballad. The collection of ballads from the opening Tony Bennett classic, Stranger in Paradise, to the American Folk music ballad originating from Appalachia, “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies”, the album plays like a love letter to the listener that, in fact, JD included into his liner notes. His most personal statement to date, the artist wears his heart on his sleeve throughout this stunning collection.
“Originals didn’t feel like being original anymore,” explains JD Allen on why he took a departure to record a record filled with some of the most beautiful ballads ever written. “I had a desire to play like a singer and really incorporate some vocalist qualities into my playing this time. I really just wanted to try and play beautiful….no math and science….a great melody, great tone and instead of making a ‘musician’ record this time around, I decided to make this one FOR THE PEOPLE.”
“The spirit of serious jazz tenor saxophone endures in JD Allen.” – JAZZTIMES
JD has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, in The Atlantic, in The New York Times (on the blues) and hailed by one of JDs first champions, jazz critic Ben Ratliff as, “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style,” JD Allen is one of the most thoughtful jazz saxophonists on the scene today. Winner of Downbeat, JazzTimes & NPR polls in categories including NPR’s Best Jazz of the Year, Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, Composer of the Year and Rising Star of the Year and JJA WINNER Short Form Jazz News Documentary, Mario Lathan, for VICTORY! – The Making of JD Allen’s Victory in 2012. “For roughly a decade, the tenor saxophonist J. D. Allen has accomplished what is now a rarity in jazz: He has held together a trio without reshuffling its personnel — deepening a collective language and sharpening his voice as an improviser” (The New York Times). The Detroit natives apprenticeship has largely been in New York, where he has performed, recorded, and toured with legends running the gamut from Betty Carter and Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris to contemporaries Meshell Ndegeocello. Since making a strong impression in his early years in New York and serving an invaluable tenure with Betty Carter, JD has come a long way - now fully possessed of his own sound. JD has appeared on WNYC’S Leonard Lopate Show, NPR's Jazz Perspectives, WNYC's Soundcheck, WKCR's Musician's Show and festivals and venues worldwide including headlining at New York’s Village Vanguard, Newport, Saratoga and Summerstage/Charlie Parker Jazz Festivals, among others. At the request of saxophone colossus, Sonny Rollins and filmmaker Dick Fontaine, JD was invited to open up ceremonies for the screening of the lauded, “Sonny Rollins – Beyond The Notes” at The 2013 Woodstock Film Festival to great acclaim. JD also appeared in Fontaine’s documentary on Betty Carter some 20 years ago. JD Allen performs regularly with his own trio and quartet, featuring guitarist Liberty Ellman.