Saxophonist JD Allen has been building a strong reputation as one of the most promising and innovative current forces in jazz, being able to play and come up with excellent releases that cover a gamut of jazz styles from hard bop to spiritual and experimental jazz.
On his latest release titled Americana Vol. 2, Allen seems to be completing a sort of a trilogy that includes his two previous releases - Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues, and Barracoon.
And yet again, Allen and his previous two collaborators Gregg August and Rudy Royston as the rhythm section, along with guitarist Charlie Hunter, explore all the general and minute connections between jazz and blues, as well as some other forms of what is considered Americana music.
Exploring these connections seems to be quite inspiring for Allen, as he is in full form, as are both Hunter and the rhythm section particularly on, well, any track here.
Allen also retraces some of his steps, touching often on the spiritual element in both blues and jazz, as in "This World Is A Mean World," a song Allen already played on Jaimeo Brown's Transcendence, album, giving it a more traditional jazz touch here.
Yet, no matter how many traditional touches Allen and his collaborators present here, the sound of Americana Vol. 2 is at the same time as fresh as any music genre needs it today.
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