Since Geri Allen's death yesterday, I've been re-exploring her work. Etudes, from 1987, is performed by a truly great trio - Allen, bassist Charlie Haden, and Paul Motian on drums. The two veterans were inspired and impressed by Allen's work when they were all touring with Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and they three musicians apparently felt a real need to record together. The result is a truly beautiful record, with originals by all three musicians and a couple of carefully chosen "covers" by Ornette Coleman and Herbie Nichols. This version of Coleman's "Lonely Woman" is just breathtaking; the composer heard the playback in the studio and reportedly loved it.
This record marks the first post in this blog featuring the great Italian Soul Note label. Along with its sister label, Black Saint, this label has been responsible for some amazing and important jazz releases beginning in the 1970s.
It's hard for me to fathom that all three of these master musicians are now gone. RIP.