July 23, 2024

Tony Allen’s jazz tribute is as rich as Christmas cake

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Tony Allen’s tribute to Art Blakey, a four track digitally released EP, sounds great, it really does.

Its grande, New New York, late night, relaxing and star twinkling.

It has a rich sound, as rich as one of mother’s home made Christmas cakes, the kind with lashing of brandy, nuts and dried fruit galore, and whole sugar cherries.

Moanin bandstands like an alley cat enjoying his realm, breaking into crescendos of joy and features a neat sax solo.

Politely starts off with a melancholic and uncertain piano motif, there’s a hint of danger, a story to be told of night adventures in a dangerous city. I’m reminded of the stuff contemporary jazz-lounge fusioneers Llorca and Acqua Bassino produced at the beginning of the millennium.

A Night in Tunisia comes next, a hustle and bustle kind of a tune, interspersed with chicanery and a little irony.

The Drum Thunder Suite starts off as if depicting the energy of a bazaar, mutates into the backing track for a private detective in quiet pursuit of his muse before periodically bursting into life, as if to celebrate another success in solving crime.

The good guys always win and this is as good a jazz EP as I’ve heard.

Tony Allen’s A Tribute to Art Blakey was released on Blue Note Records on May 19th as a digital release.



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