Worth Noting: Geri Allen Snags a Guggenheim Fellowship
I became more familiar with pianist Geri Allen's work due to her retreading/resuscitating the late great Mary Lou Williams' compositions but I still, despite many well intentioned plans, have not seen her live. I'll have to correct that soon. I just learned from Greg Tate's talk at this years great EMP conference that she was a founding member of BRC. I'm gonna have to find a way to write about her soon.
Geri Allen, the pianist, composer, and arranger has received a Fellowship from The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for Musical Composition. She has begun a work to be titled, "Refractions, inspired and informed by three mighty pianists, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Cecil Taylor.
Ms. Allen has this to say:
I am honored that The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has recognized my work and awarded me a Fellowship which will give me the freedom to create without restriction. As a working mother of three children, this encouraging honor will most certainly fuel the 'creative intention' that all artists need to do their best work.
My composition (a work in progress) celebrates and embraces the continuity of innovation as personified by the three individual, yet connected, universes of modern music's seminal pianist-composers: Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and Cecil Taylor.
I call my composition 'Refractions' because I will allow the music of these three great artists to pass through me, as through a prism, in order to make something new through my creative imagination.
"Refractions" will be a celebration about what is most inspiring about humanity. Jazz is a music of continuity, a direct outgrowth of the spirit of a people who rose, thrived, and innovated in spite of seemingly impossible odds.
This music will speak to freedom, and the right each and every one of us has to aspire to that ideal.
Source: Jim Eigo