Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Listen to Samples
A Solid Debut for Allison
Ryan Wepler | Waltham, MA | 05/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Allison has just released his eighth album as a leader in 2008. His seven most recent albums are all still in print and can be purchased easily on amazon. This album, however, has long been out of print. Presumably anyone who is new to Allison will be starting with a more easily accessible album (and should do so), so this review is intended for folks like me who own most or all of Allison's other cds and have wondered whether shelling out $25-$35 for a used copy of this album was worth their money. The short answer is "yes." While it doesn't reach the heights of many of Allison's other albums, any Allison fan would appreciate Ben's work here.
Seven Arrows was released two years prior to Allison's breakthrough album Medicine Wheel (his second album). It is also one of the first albums released by the group of NYC jazz musicians known as the Jazz Composers Collective (now disbanded). Owners of Allison's other albums will be familliar with most of the musicians here: Ted Nash on tenor, clarinet, and flute, Ron Horton on trumpet and flugelhorn, Frank Kimbrough on piano, Allison on bass, and Tim Horner on drums. Allison's compositions here require a lot of light, airy playing, and Nash and Horton execute them very well. There isn't much space for them to really let loose on solos, but they play creatively, though quietly, within the constraints of the compositions. Kimbrough's playing is excellent as usual. Though his soloing is not as harmonically complex as it is on much of his recent work, he really holds the album together--bridging the gap between the rhythm section and the horn section--and plays some especially inspired solos in the middle tunes of the album. Allison doesn't play as lightly as the other musicians, producing rhythms that suggest a force always on the verge of being unleashed just beneath the album's more serene playing. The major exception to more ethereal feel of the album is the opening tune "Dragzilla," which is a rhythmic extravaganza more in line with many of Allison's later compositions.
Familiarity with these musicians' later work suggests than none of the has completely found their voice here, but this is far from journeyman's work. This is an album with a good deal of harmonic complexity that rewards repeated listening. Strongly recommended to Allison fans who own at least a few of his albums."