NYC-based bassist/composer Ben Allison, when not leading his own bands, plays in The Herbie Nichols Project, the band/collective dedicated to the little- or un-heard music of the under-appreciated, under-recorded composer/pianist. Some of the HNP appear here for a program of graceful, introspective originals (save for Neil Young’s "Goin’ Back"). Though there’s plenty of inspired, quietly emotive soloing (especially the warm, yearning saxes of Michael Blake) to be had, the emphasis is on composition, mood and texture rather than theme/solos/theme. High points include the lush "Realization," a tribute to the mood indigos of Duke Ellington’s orchestra; the transformation of Neil Young’s folk/country-flavored melody to a pensive, elliptical jazz ballad; the minor-keyed, bittersweet 60s Blue Note exotica of "Disposable Genius." Peace Pipe isn’t the kind of album that jumps out at the listener and clobbers him/her with its brilliance, but one that quietly and gradually insinuates itself into the Inner Ear.
Artist / Group Name:Ben Allison
CD Title:Peace Pipe
Musicians:B. Allison: bass; Michael Blake: reeds; Mamadou Diabate: kora; Frank Kimbrough: keys; Michael Sarin: drums.