Music » Critics' Picks

Geri Allen

8:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 29 and 30. Jazz at the Bistro, (3536 Washington Boulevard)

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Jazz St. Louis may be presenting Geri Allen as part of their "Discovery Series," but the Detroit-born piano player and composer has been a significant contributor to jazz for nearly 25 years. By turns ethereal and earthy, her music is rooted in tradition yet retains distinct modern sensibilities, with influences ranging from the pioneering work of Mary Lou Williams to the Harmolodic conceptions of Ornette Coleman (who in the 1990s thought enough of Allen to make her the first pianist to play with his group in three decades). With a new CD just out and the premiere of her jazz suite, "For the Healing of the Nations," at Rutgers University earlier this month, Allen continues to demonstrate her ongoing evolution as both a writer and player.

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