JD Allen, Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues (Savant)
The wisdom of Allen’s choice of material is borne out in nine performances that illustrate an article of faith he expresses in his notes, “…the blues is the gateway to the past and future of American music; the well from which gospel, jazz, rock, country, rhythm & blues and hip hop are drawn.” In the album’s audio spectrum, Allen’s tenor saxophone is firmly between bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston. The sonic relationship emphasizes the interdependence the three have developed in their years as a working band. The power of August’s bass lines and the responsiveness of Royston’s drumming frame Allen’s deep musings and the harmonic coloring he uses to stir emotions. Seven of the nine blues lines are his. The trio’s passion makes this a living blues statement and a landmark in Allen’s impressive discography.