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JD Allen
JD Allen has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, in THE ATLANTIC, The New York Times (on the blues) and hailed by Ben Ratliff as, “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant and hard-driving style,” JD Allen is one of the most thoughtful jazz saxophonists on the scene today. A prolific composer, JD releases a new album every year.

Winner of Downbeat, JazzTimes & NPR polls in categories including NPR’s Best Jazz of the Year, Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, Composer of the Year and Rising Star of the Year and JJA WINNER Short Form Jazz News Documentary, Mario Lathan, for VICTORY! – The Making of JD Allen’s Victory in 2012.

The Detroit natives apprenticeship has largely been in New York, where he has performed, recorded, and toured with legends from Lester Bowie to Betty Carter and Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris to contemporaries Cindy Blackman and Meshell Ndegeocello. Since making a strong impression during his early years in New York, serving an invaluable tenure with Betty Carter, JD has come a long way – now fully possessed of his own sound. JD has appeared on WNYC’S Leonard Lopate Show, Jazz Perspectives, Soundcheck and festivals and has headlined worldwide stages including the Village Vanguard, Newport, Saratoga and Summerstage/Charlie Parker Jazz Festivals. At the request of saxophone colossus, Sonny Rollins and filmmaker Dick Fontaine, JD was invited to open up ceremonies for the screening of the lauded film, “Sonny Rollins – Beyond The Notes” at The 2013 Woodstock Film Festival to great acclaim. JD also appeared in Fontaine’s documentary on Betty Carter some 20 years ago.

"The first thing that comes to mind when you think of tenor saxophonist JD Allen may well be power — the full-toned, heavy-tread intensity he can bring to any musical setting. But on his new album, Love Stone, he seeks out beauty in the most straightforward form, with tenderness and low-flickering calm. Featuring Allen’s longtime rhythm team of bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston, smartly augmented by Liberty Ellman on guitar, it’s an all-ballads affair, but one with plenty of swirling intrigue underfoot. Listen to this version of “Until the Real Thing Comes Along,” a song first published in 1936, and you’re likely to notice Allen’s tip of the hat to Dexter Gordon, both in the smoke of his tone and the drawl of his phrasing, which remains rooted in melody."

   - Nate Chinen, WBGO, June 11, 2018 514 247 0706
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