GERI ALLEN R.I.P. 1957 - 2017

June 30, 2017 – 11:25 am


Yes, we do need your donation.

Readers who wish to contribute to BigO will now have to use Skrill (click here). We are no longer able to use PayPal to receive donations. Register an account at Skrill. To make a payment, use this e-mail address as recipient’s e-mail address in Skrill. Looking forward to hearing from you.

+ + + + +

To reduce spamming, the BigO website is going through Cloudflare. What it does is scan your browser to ensure the visitor is not a spam. Do not be alarmed as this usually takes only a few seconds. Email us if you still have difficulty accessing the BigO site; or playing or downloading the tracks. If you know a better way of reducing spam, do let us know.

+ + + + +

GERI ALLEN R.I.P. 1957 - 2017

Geri Allen, an influential pianist and educator whose dense but agile playing reconciled far-flung elements of the jazz tradition, died on June 27, 2017 at a hospital in Philadelphia. She was 60. Her publicist, Maureen McFadden, said the cause was cancer. Perhaps more than any other pianist, Allen’s style - harmonically refracted and rhythmically complex, but also fluid - formed a bridge between jazz’s halcyon mid-century period and its diffuse present. She accomplished this by holding some things constant: a farsighted approach to the piano, which she used both to guide and to goad her bandmates; an ability to toggle between artistic styles without warping her own sound; and a belief that jazz ought to interact with its kindred art forms across the African-American tradition.

She also established a long association with the bassist Charlie Haden and the drummer Paul Motian, both veterans of the jazz avant-garde of the 1960s and ’70s, and played with the drummer Tony Williams and the bassist Ron Carter, former members of Miles Davis’s quintet. She later became one of the first pianists since the 1950s to make a commercial recording with the free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, who typically found piano players too harmonically restrictive. Around the same time, she filled the piano chair in the vocalist Betty Carter’s quartet, demonstrating an ability to play expressively in a relatively traditional style. -

+ + + + +

Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

Click here for the pdf artwork.

New York 1995 [no label, 1CD]

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Tompkins Square Park, NYC; August 27, 1995. Very good FM broadcast (?). Slight hiss.

Thanks to BN_2005 for sharing the show at Dime.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Track 01. Announcer 2:46
Track 02. Klaactoveesedstene 10:18
Track 03. If I Should Lose You 13:59
Track 04. Announcer GA 0:57
Track 05. Cherryl 12:58
41 mins

Geri Allen - piano
Wallace Roney - trumpet
Jessy Davis - alto saxophone
Ralphe Armstrong - bass
Eric Allen - percussion

Click here to order Geri Allen releases.

+ + + + +
+ + + + +

Click here for more shows that are still open for sharing.

Click here for closed shows.
(Readers can email us a request to reopen closed shows.)

  1. 18 Responses to “GERI ALLEN R.I.P. 1957 - 2017”

  2. Don’t know anything about this artist or this band but I’ll give a listen . Thanks for the diversity.

    By Bill on Jun 30, 2017

  3. This is real Jazz ( for a change ) and honors the tradition of jazz legends like Parker , Monk , Montgomery, Coltrane and of coarse Miles Davis . The hack McLaughlin, Coreyell etc are not real Jazz artists but creators of Jazz mutations and insult the memories of the legends .

    By Smashmouth on Jun 30, 2017

  4. Old school Jazz is the only Jazz , and this is old school , only complaint is that I wish it were longer, thanks

    By Dave on Jun 30, 2017

  5. Beautiful. I’m obviously going to have to check this lady’s music out. many thanks.

    By ian g on Jun 30, 2017

  6. @Smashmouth - I agree that this is traditional/old school jazz and is quite tasty IMO. I do have to point out that the “hacks” you mentioned played with Miles Davis at one time or another. Does that make them better artists or does it take away from Davis’s talent? I’m leaning toward the former. I’m not a big fan of McLaughlin, but I’ve always enjoyed Larry Coryell. Jazz has evolved over the decades just like other styles of music. If the new stuff doesn’t float your boat, don’t listen. Me? I give everything a shot and then put it in one of two categories. Music I like and music I don’t like.

    By SteveC on Jun 30, 2017

  7. Allen is a huge favorite of mine whom I was fortunate to hear a number of times leading her own groups and once with Wallace Roney. Her early death was a shock. Thank you for this show.

    By Ken on Jun 30, 2017

  8. Many thanks for honoring Geri Allen, BigO, one of the most nuanced jazz pianists ever, to these ears.

    By kingpossum on Jun 30, 2017

  9. Miles quite frankly started losing me during the bitches brew period , his time with the hack did him no favors Bitches Brew sounds like Santana steroids

    By Smashmouth on Jun 30, 2017

  10. Santana on steroids

    By Smashmouth on Jun 30, 2017

  11. Rather funny then that the bassplayer Ralphe Armstrong played with McLaughlin in the Mahavishnu Orchestra both live and on records. For what it’s worth I have to add that John McLaughlin in my mind is one of the greatest most versatile musicians/guitarists/composers of our time!
    (All this not to anything away from the great Geri Allen).

    By bodhi heeren on Jun 30, 2017

  12. I think what some are saying I that McLaughlin seems a little showoffy at times , too much so for Jazz . Really are doubleneck guitars and ruffled flashy outfits really necessary? It cries out look at me arnt I great . Geri Allen on the other hand stays true to the formula which is how it should be .

    By Carl on Jul 1, 2017

  13. Everyone has their own tastes , likes , dislikes etc in terms of music , whatever floats your boat .

    By Bill on Jul 1, 2017

  14. I guess no opportunity to talk dicks on this post .

    By Tony C on Jul 1, 2017

  15. So sad…thank you so much for sharing her work. The jazz world mourns losing her at such a young age.

    By dr.babyhead on Jul 1, 2017

  16. Geri was a sensational pianist, who I had the pleasure to know personally and to hear in many contexts. I have been listening to her for 30 years, in multiple contexts. Festival performance, student classes, house concerts and just about anything else.

    She was a bridge on the piano from the 60’s generation (Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, etc) and the contemporary masters like Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn and Jason Moran.

    Geri and Ralphe Armstrong went to high school together, so Ralphe playing bass in her band should not surprise anyone.

    BTW, for those who care, Ralphe is still doing well, living in Detroit and playing up a storm!

    By Evil dr.louie on Jul 1, 2017

  17. Thanks for posting, doc. Do you know if she’d been sick for long? She sure kept active till the end.

    By Ken on Jul 1, 2017

  18. Even people who knew her well where caught by surprise.

    By Evil dr.louie on Jul 3, 2017

  19. Thanks big o

    By scotty dunton on Jul 6, 2017

Post a Comment