Mike Allen Quartet | Love One Another

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Love One Another

by Mike Allen Quartet

Swinging, lyrical saxophone-based melodies in the spirit of Coltrane's classic quartet and early 60's Miles Davis. Hailed as the "Top Canadian Jazz Album of 2005" by The Ottawa Citizen.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Her Ascendancy
5:12 $0.99
2. The Power of Observation
5:56 $0.99
3. Luna Crescente
9:43 $0.99
4. In A World of Their Own
6:23 $0.99
5. The Best For Me
7:06 $0.99
6. Same Old Feeling
5:03 $0.99
7. Something For Tony
8:02 $0.99
8. Love One Another
5:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Tenor saxophonist Mike Allen has embraced the jazz tradition to create his own singular sound. As a leader for over a decade on a handful of critically acclaimed albums, Allen has emerged as one of the most distinctive voices in jazz.

The Globe and Mail calls Allen “one of a half dozen interesting Canadians to watch.” His recently released seventh CD as a leader, Love One Another (Almus Jazz), proves Allen is even better than that.

Recorded by Brad Turner at North Vancouver’s Birch Theatre in three days at the end of July 2005, mixed by Chris Gestrin, and mastered by Jamie Sitar, Mike Allen’s beautiful production is as strong as his band’s playing.

Pianist Bruno Hubert’s shifting block chords are like a hard-bop horn chorus framing Allen’s virile tone on tenor, as the saxophonist sails off on organically constructed tangents of inspired improvisation. Allen’s luminous solos have a voice-like quality full of pregnant spaces that shape his moving, economical statements with an emotive power. Throughout the recording’s eight tracks, the rhythm section’s propulsive blowing provides supple support for Allen’s soulful abstractions. This is a beautiful quartet of masterful musicians cooking on all cylinders on a set of eight well-crafted originals.

Allen has absorbed the post-bop advancements of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. After studying with Joe Henderson in San Francisco, Allen has mastered his teacher’s synthesis of the two tenor sax titans and carved out his own distinctive sound and vision. Lester Young and Ben Webster’s big, rich tenor sounds haunt many of Allen’s solos. The bark and controlled wildness that Coleman Hawkins added to the jazz idiom are here too. Love One Another teems with ancient echoes blown through the instrument’s majestic history. More significantly, Allen’ tenor sax sings a breathtakingly singular and original song.

The saxophonist’s tight-but-juicy quartet swings ferociously both on the intense, smoldering ballads and on the white-hot, upbeat workouts. The seductive groove of Luna Crescente is driven by the muscular rhythmic pulse of drummer Julian MacDonough and bassist Sean Cronin. Imagine Elvin Jones’ tribal pounding pushing Coltrane to earthy, loamy soulfulness and transcendence.

“The music I want to be a part of making as a member of my own band, is intended to lift and inspire our listeners in the same way that John Coltrane’s classic quartet music moves me,” Allen explains. “Our music strives to embody the totality of our individual expression and our shared musical visions by way of singable melodies, recognizable song forms, and inspired performances born of a mutual love and respect for the power of swing. I am hopeful that we can continue to grow together as a band and make music to lift our listeners’ spirits.”

With Love One Another, Mike Allen has produced music of uncommon beauty and power. The stately title track sounds like an instant classic, and it caps a series of exciting performances of in-the-moment improvisational magic. It’s the essence of jazz. It’s great! -Joe Blake



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