Mike Allen Quartet
Spare, elegant, melodic, soaring, fierce - Vancouver’s Mike Allen has arrived as the country’s top jazz saxophonist.
During its first international jazz festival appearance (Warsaw Jazz Jamboree, Poland-1988) the Mike Allen Quartet was joined on stage by members of Miles Davis’ band (Kenny Garrett and Eliane Elias) at Club Akwarium. Now after hundreds of performances, 13 full-length albums and 15 years of hosting the Vancouver Int Jazz Festival jam session, Mike can reminisce on the honour of performing alongside Cedar Walton, John Taylor, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Potter, Robin Eubanks, Gary Bartz, Antonio Sanchez, Branford Marsalis, Eric Harland, and Chucho Valdes among others.
Allen’s tone is as pure as that of Joe Henderson. His aesthetic habits come straight out of a blue-chip tenor tradition: from Joe Lovano back to Coleman Hawkins and into his primary inspiration, John Coltrane.
The current edition of the band includes longtime musical associates Miles Black-piano, Steve Bokudo Holy-bass and Dave Robbins-drums. The MAQ has been frequenting stages in Vancouver and surrounding cities lately, rousing audiences with new original music with a spiritual side, conjuring the sound of John Coltrane’s classic quartet.
An accomplished musician who has studied Coltrane in depth and forged a style that is fresh and vital.
(Jazz Journal International)
The MAQ will be recording a new album this summer and then embarking on a CD release tour, performing in communities on the mainland and Vancouver Island. Coming to a venue near you!
Allen’s true strength is his ability to pace and phrase his solos in a way that draws a listener into the music.