SOLO TROMBONE CD REVIEW

from the AllAboutJazz website at:
http://wwww.allaboutjazz.com/REVIEWS/r0701_143.htm
by Dave Nathan

Brian Allen is from Lake Jackson, Texas where part of this solo trombone album was
recorded.  He studied with some of the masters of the avant garde/free jazz such as Roswell
Rudd and Ellery Eskelin.  To state the obvious, solo trombone albums are not everyday
occurences and it takes a good deal of self-assurance to but one out on a CD.  The leading
practitioner is German avant garde trombonist Albert Mangelsdordff with his CDs,
Tromboneliness and Solo.  These efforts, among others, encouraged Allen to move ahead
with this project.

The play list has all Allen compositions.  Many styles and tempi are represented.  "Planes" is
a plaintive ballad.  There's humor in "Loco March" where Allen test the range of the slide
instrument, from very high to way down at the bottom.  Several of the cuts swing mightily and
Allen can certainly swing.  Allen's trombone wails sometimes resemble whale callings that
were incorporated into "And God Created White Whales" by American classical composer
Alan Hovhaness.

Fifty minutes of solo trombone is a lot to take for most.  I guess one has to have a special
empathy for the instrument to fully appreciate what Allen is doing.  There are all sorts of
noises coming from his instrument that I have never heard, such as gargling sounds to
something akin to blowing one's nose.  But no question, this man is a virtuoso.  What he
now needs to do is to cut an album that will attract a larger group than students of the
trombone.  This album may be obtained by emailing Allen at bka44@hotmail.com or through
his Internet site at www.braintone.com
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