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A Child is Born / Geri Allen

Audio Samples

>Traditional, Christmas : Angels We Have Heard on High
>Jones, Thaddeus : A Child is Born
>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunrise
>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
>Allen, Geri [Piano] : Journey to Bethlehem, for narrator, voice & piano
>Hopkins, John Henry : We three kings
>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
>Allen, Geri [Piano] : God is With Us, for keyboards
>Newton, John : Amazing Grace
>Traditional, Christmas : Christmas Medley
>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunset
>Collingwood, Lawrance : Let Us Break Bread Together
>Willis, Richard Storrs : It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Album Summary

>Traditional, Christmas : Angels We Have Heard on High
>Jones, Thaddeus : A Child is Born
>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunrise
>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
>Allen, Geri [Piano] : Journey to Bethlehem, for narrator, voice & piano
>Hopkins, John Henry : We three kings
>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
>Allen, Geri [Piano] : God is With Us, for keyboards
>Newton, John : Amazing Grace
>Traditional, Christmas : Christmas Medley
>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunset
>Collingwood, Lawrance : Let Us Break Bread Together
>Willis, Richard Storrs : It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"The rare Christmas record that transcends background music, nostalgia or pure business, this first Christmas album by the jazz pianist Geri Allen is serious and thoughtful. She rearranges songs like “We Three Kings” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” for solo piano and other instruments including celesta and Farfisa organ, darkening them into unanswerable questions; in her hands, they sound influenced by late Coltrane, late-1960s Miles Davis and gospel music. She also weaves in under-a-minute snippets of multitracked improvisations and recorded segments of singing by the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, the Alabaman craftswomen." -The New York Times

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011).

Christmas albums tend to be a blend of the traditional and familiar with the style of the recording artist, and jazz pianist Geri Allen's A Child Is Born is no exception. Allen has a technically proficient, often elaborate style as a pianist, and she uses it in her evocations of Christmas carols and hymns. There is a slight nod to Ethiopia in the brief versions of "Imagining Gena at Sunrise" and "Imagining Gena at Sunset," as well as the cover art of a black Madonna and child by Kabuya Pamela Bowens, and Allen occasionally employs a Fender Rhodes electric piano or even a Hohner clavinet for unusual effects, notably on her original "God Is with Us" (a musical setting of the Biblical passage Matthew 1:23). Most of the time, however, she takes on tunes known by most Western listeners, playing the melodies in strong right-hand statements backed by often contrasting left-hand rhythms on acoustic piano. Then, she takes off into complex improvisations that only touch back now and then to the melodies. Her playing sometimes has a new age quality, like George Winston in a slightly jazzier mode. So, this is a holiday collection for the more adventurous jazz piano fan, rather than for someone looking for a safe, warm, and fuzzy set of jazzed-up Christmas tunes. ~ William Ruhlmann



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Works Details

>Traditional, Christmas : Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: circa 1840

>Jones, Thaddeus : A Child is Born
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.

>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunrise
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 10 sec.
  • Form: Vocal

>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 12th Century

>Allen, Geri [Piano] : Journey to Bethlehem, for narrator, voice & piano
  • Performers: Geri Allen (Piano); Farah Griffin; Carolyn Brewer (Voice)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Hopkins, John Henry : We three kings
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1857

>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1958

>Allen, Geri [Piano] : God is With Us, for keyboards
  • Performers: Geri Allen (Clavinet); Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Newton, John : Amazing Grace
  • Performers: Geri Allen (Piano); Connaitre Miller (Voice); Carolyn Brewer (Voice)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1779

>Traditional, Christmas : Christmas Medley
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Form: Christmas

>Traditional, Ethiopian : Imagining Gena at Sunset
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Form: Vocal

>Collingwood, Lawrance : Let Us Break Bread Together
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral

>Willis, Richard Storrs : It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1850

>Traditional, Christmas : O come, o come, Emmanuel (Veni, veni, Emmanuel), carol
  • Performer: Geri Allen (Piano)
  • Notes: Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (01/14/2011-01/15/2011); Fazioli Piano Loft, Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ (04/27/2011-04/28/2011); Klavierhaus, New York, NY (04/27/2011-04/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Medieval
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 12th Century