Allen Lowe

In the Dark

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Allen Lowe writes: In the Dark is a commemoration (sic) of the worst time of my life – a period during which, having been operated on to remove a cancerous tumor in my sinus, I slept for only brief periods of time. Sometimes I made it as long as two hours continuously, but most often I dozed off for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, maybe an hour – encamped as I was on my couch, trying not to wake my wife as I wandered in the dark contemplating the long night ahead. Sometimes I turned the television set on and slept fitfully to the sound of the late news shows. Most often I slept most peacefully at about 5 am, only to be awakened an hour or two later by the light that flooded my living room, even with the curtains closed. I could barely breathe through my nose, or any other place; my face had been carved up by the surgeons who saved my life, and I sometimes did mad circles in the dark to see if I could exercise and avoid collisions with inanimate objects like chairs, doors, stairways, tables, etc. I have never before (or since) felt that desperate about anything. For a little while, in the late stages, I was able to breathe better, but then something called neuropathy set in, as what felt like a low-level electric current seething through my left foot. So – at this point I would go to bed at 11PM, and at 1 AM, like clockwork, that left foot began to vibrate, which it would continue to do for five or six hours, leaving me, at 6 or 7 am, with the very temporary relief of sleep – all the while trying to ignore the sunlight that tormented me like a celestial alarm clock that never stopped ringing.

                At some point during this ordeal I started composing again. To my surprise – because I felt blank and near-death – the music poured out of me, and the result is this recording (and its ESP companion, America: The Rough Cut). I don’t why it all happened like this, but I am reasonably sure that I will never be this prolific again, that I will never again produce this much good music this quickly.

                The music is sometimes structured, sometimes free-improvised, sometimes blues and American song form; Ken Peplowski is let loose to play free jazz on some tracks; Aaron Johnson shows himself to be one of the best and most creative saxophonists playing today; Lewis Porter is a phenomenal pianist, adept at all forms and musical structures. Anthony Braxton has said “Allen Lowe is the tradition,” and I am honored to accept his recognition.

Track Listing:

CD 1

1. Kickin’ the Bucket

2. Ralphie’s Theme

3. Hiding from a Riff

4. In the Dark: Night Terrors

5. Castles in the Sand

6. In the Dark: Tears

7. Out to Brunch

8. Boyce’s Choice

9. In the Dark: Elvis Don’t You Weep

10. In the Dark: For Helen

CD 2

1. Junkie Rumble

2. Innuendo in Blue

3. Goodbye Barry Harris

4. In the Dark: Desperate Circles

5. What Are We Doing?

6. Blues for Old Jews

7. In the Dark: Elsa My Dear

8. Velasco’s Revenge

9. The Potato Eaters

10. Jelly Roll’s Broadway Blues

11. Hassan’s Nap 

CD 3

1. In the Jungles

2. Poem for Eric Dolphy

3. Do You Know What It Means to Leave New Orleans?

4. Nita’s Mom

5. In the Dark: For Francis

6. Crippled Clarence

7. Duke Dreams

8. In the Dark: Dance of the Apparitions

9. Declension

10. Memories of Jaki

All compositions by Allen Lowe (BMI)

Personnel: Allen Lowe, tenor sax; Aaron Johnson, alto sax, clarinet; Ken Peplowski, clarinet; Lisa Parrott, baritone sax; Brian Simontacchi, trombone; Kellin Hannas, trumpet; Lewis Porter, piano; Alex Tremblay, bass; Kyle Colina, bass; Rob Landis, drums

Musicians: Allen Lowe

Compact Disk 3 CDs in digipak
  • Product Code: ESP5080
  • Availability: In Stock
  • 3CD $36.99

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