Geri Allen: Law Years
Geri Allen (piano)
Segments (DIW 8333)
Composed by Ornette Coleman.
Recorded: New York, April 6-8, 1989
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Geri Allen has recorded with a wide array of impressive trios, some of which include Anthony Cox and Andrew Cyrille, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, Buster Williams and Lenny White, and Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette. When she joined forces with the particularly sympathetic rhythmic duo of Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, however, her longest-running and most memorable trio recordings ensued. As only the finest and most mature jazz musicians can, Allen, Haden and Motian know precisely when to play and when to leave space for the other musician to make a statement – often achieving frighteningly telepathic moments of collective interaction.
The influence of Keith Jarrett's American Quartet (of which Haden and Motian are alumni) is heard clearly throughout Segments, yet Allen's unique voice and her playful take on improvising with Haden and Motian results in one of the more inventive trio recordings of the 1980s. Of special note here are Allen's melodic playfulness with Ornette's "Law Years" melody, Haden's powerful solo statement, and Motian's mostly straightforward (for Motian, anyway) bubbling, bouncing groove.
Reviewer: Eric Novod