There are plenty of reasons to root for Ben Allison. He's a commanding bandleader, a virtuoso bassist, a proprietor of his own record label, and now an electric bassist and audio recording engineer. But the most impressive dimension to the artist is the artist himself — his songwriting especially.
In this Checkout podcast, Allison offers an inside glimpse of the mental gymnastics and sometimes magic that unfolds to writing a good melody. His compelling new album, Layers of The City, features more than a few, including "The Detective's Wife," which his band Think Free recently performed in our studio.
Allison has been composing since 1993, penning almost 100 songs. In this studio session, Think Free — previously a quartet with bass, drums, guitar, and trumpet — also features the irrepressible and perpetually underrated pianist Frank Kimbrough, who plays an explosive solo on "Enter The Dragon."
Ben Allison and Think Free perform Layers of the City at Smoke Jazz Club on January 11.
Ben Allison & Think Free:
Ben Allison - electric & acoustic bass
David Neves - trumpet
Steve Cardenas - guitar
Frank Kimbrough - piano
Allan Mednard - drums
Host and Producer - Simon Rentner
Video: Chris Tobin
Audio Mix: Corey Goldberg
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