Allon Sams

 

 

A Place In Time

Questioned after my preferred instrument, I would not hesitate with the answer: the piano. The instep-width of the expression-forms of a grand-piano is hardly to be surpassed. Therefore the piano playing has always fascinated me. 

Many pianists have choosen the Smooth Jazz genre as their favorite music: Bob Baldwin, David Benoit, Alex Bugnon, Jonathan Cain, Daryle Chinn, Sam Cardon, Brian Culbertson, Joseph Diamond, Walter Duda, Joe Ercole, George Duke, Noel Elmowy, Rodney Franklin, Tom Grant, Kevin Griffin, Tim Heintz, Chris Ho, Brian Jackson, Bob James, Marcus Johnson, Gregg Karukas, Rick Kelley (Soul Ballet), Elliot Levine, Pat Leacock, Jeff Lorber, Ray Lyon, Kofi, Bob Mamet, Greg Manning, Joe McBride, Duncan Millar, Rob Mullins, Danny Obadia (Aftertouch), Kim Pensyl, Mark Portman, Freddie Ravel, Dan Reynolds, Jay Rowe, Philippe Saisse, Bill Sharpe (Shakatak), Brian Simpson, Roger Smith, Dino Soldo, Christoph Spendel, Ben Tankard, Tony Waters (Sacred Groove), Scott Wilkie. I am thankful for every hint to a further artist, I haven't mentioned. 

Well, this time Allon Sams found my attention. Allon is on of these masters of piano, who impressed by the velocity and ease of his pianoplay. It's incredible, if you know that Allon took only 3 piano lessons in his life. In any case Allon masters the jazzy attack of the keys perfectly.

On his album A Place In Time he starts to improve his mastership with his first tune Back From The Beach. Reading the liner notes of this album one will not find any remark about his main instrument but three photos show the master smiling behind his grand-piano and indeed this is the primary instrument on this album. His pianowork is overwhelming. He likes to run the scales up and down.

On the midtempo piece Well Aware Allon shows his musical sensibility. John Mayeux on guitar and Gene Cannon on sax convinces through their expressive play.

Time Alone is the next romantic slowdown. Peter White is easy to recognize through his guitar. He is one of those guitarists, who makes through his contribution each piece to an brilliant event.

The Sun Will Shine grooves with a huge brass support: Allon Sams on trumpet
Gene Cannon  on alto and tenor saxophones and Frank "Frankie J" Thompson on trombone
. But the right cream is Allon's overdubbing baroque piano play with many trills from above and below. Richard Jackson adds some phrasings with his warm vocals. I think that's the right piece for the first single.

Feelin' It turns on this grooving mood.  It's an awesome good morning piece, cause it develops its power like a sunrise: first gleaming, than Peter White brightens his guitar sunshine and all musicians warm up to a tight song.

Dusk To Dawn is Allon's one-man-show: A phat hip-hop beat in the kind of Third Force (drumprogramming rules!), a fading keyboard soundscape and above all some fingertips on Allon's piano.

On The Town kicks some funky tones. John Mayeux glitters like a rock star on his electric guitar. Organsound and heavy blown sax round up the funky atmosphere. Patrick Close adds his glossy drums.

Got My Jazz On serves anew this perfect swinging fingersniping beat. John Mayeux gives some solo breaks on his electric guitar, before the main theme is starting again. Allon let rise in perls the keys.

This characteristic piano play is to hear on all tunes and I personally don't get enough of it. Distant rain is a wonderful duo between Gene Cannon 's sax and Allon's piano.

A Place In Time is a romantic ballade in an Irish style with its typical flute sound and well-framed by an orchestral string section.

The Sun Will Shine Again in a Smooth Jazz Mix is the final cut. A little more sax, but very propulsing indeed.

The album is being sold locally first in the FL area record stores that are close to Tampa.  They will launch national distribution next year, with a large tour schedule and of course "Time Alone" as the radio single.  For right now, it is being played in the Tampa/Orlando
area and  they will used "The Sun Will Shine" as the radio release (reported by Joan Lynch).

This album deserves a wide commercial spread and success. It's an awesome example for a high-quality Smooth Jazz album which all musical claims should satisfy.

 

HBH

 

 

The musicians:
  • Allon Sams - Keyboards, Programming
  • John Mayeux - Electric and Acoustic Guitars
  • Gene Cannon - Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxophones
  • Xxavier Chisholm - Bass
  • Patrick Close - Drums
  • Peter White  - Acoustic Guitar
  • Gig Brown  - Percussion
  • Richard Jackson - Vocals
  • Les Sabler - Guitar Solo
  • Horn Section:
    Allon Sams - Trumpet
    Gene Cannon  - Alto and Tenor Saxophones
    Frank "Frankie J" Thompson - Trombone
  • String Section:
    Eden Vaning-Rosen - Violin and Solo Violin
    Myra Lin - Violin
    Shari Marcus
    - Viola
    Spencer McGee - Cello
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    Soundsamples listen here:
    http://www.allonsams.com/buycd.shtml