At The Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho
‘a non-cliched linear improviser of great originality and talent…an excellent recording of modern music full of variety, intensity and interest.’ Jazzviews
Guitar-led contemporary jazz group, formed by Chris in 2002; firmly rooted in and informed by jazz tradition, yet encompassing elements of rock, world, classical, blues and folk influences (reflecting the international and musically rounded nature of the band). Now signed to independent label Perdido Records, Invisible Landscape is Chris’s fourth album as a leader – this album has been receiving excellent reviews; praised for impeccable performances, and a distinctive melodic gift.
‘In an age of instant downloads and short attention spans, ‘Invisible Landscape’ is a brave album built on artistic integrity, framed by Allard’s inventive musical vision and realized by the band’s technical and improvisational excellence’ ★★★★ Get Ready to Rock
Returning to the open yet challenging guitar trio format, Invisible Landscape features Oli Hayhurst on double bass and Nick Smalley on Drums. After laying down the main guitar parts on electric guitar (Gibson 335) live with the trio, extra guitar parts were added to a number of the pieces – extra dimensions and colours of various different guitars; steel-string acoustic, classical guitar, electric guitars with differing textures and effects – all of which add interest and distinguish the band from other guitar-led jazz groups without losing focus or direction.
Contemporary harmony/rhythm/improvising, driving energy, virtuosity, weaving harmonised/unison lines. Long form through-composed pieces drawing on many sources; Invisible Landscape features 7 original tunes, plus a trio version of Wayne Shorter’s beautiful ballad Fall, and two songs with very special guest; Memphis legend Charlie Wood on vocals and keys: Let’s Get Lost, and Was. Chris and Charlie have collaborated extensively over the last several years, and their musical connection is clearly evidenced in the performances of these two songs.
“Great playing…beautiful…a real guitar player” Pat Martino
“Full-blooded solos…right on the money” Jazzwise
If you’d be interested in booking the band please get in touch. There are several available variations on the line-up – the band often appears as a quintet, quartet, trio and even duo, depending on the gig.
Rocking with bluesy angular lines…somewhere between Scofield and Carlton with a dash of fleet-footing Martino…he demonstrates gorgeous nylon-string polyphony…evocative acoustic work…demonstrates enough compositional and stylistic colour from his five-man band to suggest bebop is far from being Allard’s only brush
Chris Allard is a regular on TV, radio and the international jazz festival circuit. His original jazz is approachable and witty, especially in the company of his band, featuring Brandon Allen (sax), Ross Stanley (keys) Oli Hayhurst (double bass) and Nick Smalley (drums). Open Spaces and Insurgence demonstrate the group’s dexterity while maintaining a balance between tension and release as spiralling highs give way to relaxed improvisations. Top drawer!
Energetic guitar-led modern jazz originals from fine player Allard, who works with Jacqui Dankworth, Gwyneth Herbert and is joined by Aussie sax firebrand Allen plus a great rhythm section. Expect Radiohead-style flourishes and Metheny-ish melodies wrapped in a hip approach to modern jazz.