Sept. 11, 2013
I became familiar with pianist/keyboardist Scott Allman and his silky melodic style a couple of years ago with the release of his album Generations. I was pleased to discover that the style and compositions do not disappoint here on his latest effort Next Stop Home.
Rounding up some familiar talent like saxmen Darren Rahn and Phil Denny, as well as trumpeter Lin Rountree and bassist Mel Brown, certainly added an extra sheen to this project.
When you visit Allman’s website, you are immediately greeted with several tongue-in-cheek fabrications about his career. He, of course, promptly admits that these are full-blown exaggerations. He says, “I’m not any kind of iconic legend, nor have I spent years on world tours with names you’d recognize. Yet. But really, none of that matters if you like what I do. My hope is simply that the music will inspire you to Be Awesome.” With this release, my friends, you should be inspired.
This album is a pleasant bounce down the avenue of contemporary jazz. Leading off with a confident stride on “Different Sun” featuring Rahn delivering smooth sax, Allman steps through this project with fluid keys chops and catchy rhythms. Following that lead track is a very becoming, rich up-tempo tune called “Traveler” featuring the electric riffs and handiwork of guitarist John Kregor. The track may well be my favorite. Another tune of note, “Road to Chongqoing,” is a piece that saunters along with an enchanting melody. These are only three tracks from an album loaded with catchy tunes.
An excellent follow-up to Allman’s Generations, Next Stop should easily keep the keyboardist’s fans and new listeners alike in the groove. Watch for one or more of these gems to make the charts in a big way – Ronald Jackson