Ben Allison to release Layers of the City

Ben AllisonBen Allison to release Layers of the City

Jazz bassist’s newest takes a bite from the Big Apple

By David Sands
July 7, 2017

Jazzman Ben Allison has dug up something new for fans from the fertile depths of his imagination. His newest work, Layers of the City, features four new compositions, two re-imagined earlier works and one improvised piece. It’s available now in CD and digital formats through his label Sonic Camera Records and will released in vinyl later this month.

As for the theme, this time around the bassist-composer-producer puts the musical spotlight on his hometown of NYC.

Layers of the City is a title that has a lot of meaning for me,” Allison said in a statement. “The ‘City’ in this case is New York, my home, where my parents were born, and where their parents arrived as immigrants. The people who live here are from everywhere. The layers of the city are reflected in the grime and uneven slope of old tenement buildings, the gleam and perfect angles of modern glass structures, the makeshift and the honed, the worn out and the state of the art, and everything in between. These juxtapositions, coupled with the cultural diversity of NYC, produce a unique kind of energy and vitality. This is why I live here.”

Playing on the recording is Allison’s band Think Free, which features Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Steve Cardenas  on guitar, Frank Kimbrough on piano and Allan Mednard drums. As a special treat, Allison plays electric bass for his first time on a recording in addition to his usual acoustic bass. (WATCH THEM PLAY “LAYERS OF THE CITY” BELOW)

To mark the release of their album, Allison and Think Free will by playing at the Jazz Standard in NYC on July 20-22.


Layers of the City, Allison’s 12th original recording was funded completely through crowd-funding and pre-sales. It will be available on vinyl starting on July 20.

Track list
1. Magic Number
2. Enter The Dragon
3. Ghost Ship
4. Layers of the City
5. The Detective’s Wife
6. Blowback
7. Get Me Offa this Thing

Title: Layers of the CIty
Artist: Ben Allison and Think Free
Release Date: July 20, 2017
Label: Sonic Camera Records

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