Archive for October 4th, 2016

Kris Allen – Beloved

How about a change of pace. A jazz album by a saxophonist that’s neither pop nor smooth nor covers, nor anything trendy. Kris Allen plays it straight with all-original songs on Beloved (Truth Revolution Records, 2016).

Allen plays alto saxophone, switching to soprano for “Bird Bailey.” With him are Frank Kozlya, tenor saxophone; Luques Curtis, bass; and Jonathan Barber, drums.

The highlight of the music is that Allen and Kozlya often share the melody, whether in unison, harmony or offering counter melodies. Curtis and Barber team up to open some tracks, but mostly enjoy their roles as accompanists, firmly engaged though underneath the leaders. The saxes play well off each other, at times engaging in snappy dialogue. A few standout songs are “Lowborn (Proverbs 62:9),” “Flores,” “Bird Bailey,” “Hate the Game” and the closer, “Threequel.”

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