Press and quotes
Energetic guitar-led modern jazz originals from fine player Allard, whos worked with Jacqui Dankworth (guesting here), 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.
Guitarist Chris Allard played in various styles and all of them were a knockout. There were touches of Scofield and Martino on different tunes but all in all it was a masterful and original display. We think we will be hearing a lot more from this very talented musician.
The band all excelled in their own individual solo breaks. It seems invidious to single one out, but for this reviewer, Allard’s master class in electric jazz guitar was worth the price of admission in it’s own right!
Guitarist Allard is a regular accompanist for Jacqui Dankworth and sometime Gwyneth Herbert band-member, has worked with Dave O’Higgins and Tom Richards as well as appearing on a fair number of pop-rock sessions. This is an assertive debut.
Allard dodges any jazz-bluesy rock clichés on his electric solo with a bold, rounded sound and patiently-shaped sense of melodic direction. There are nice contrasts here too: Allards chiming acoustic guitar accompaniments alongside Allens Garbarek-like sax persuasively add an air of evocative calm, as does the excellent Jacqui Dankworth singing her folk-song lyric on “Time is no Fool”. But the swarthy Blue Train-influenced Allen and pianist Ross Stanley’s full-blooded solos are also right on the money.
Guitarist Chris Allard who references, amongst others, Pat Metheny, Radiohead, Miles Davis and Kurt Rosenwinkel…his tone is varied from warm jazz (pleasingly thick neck humbucker phrases on Lava) to rocking with bluesy angular lines (Lizards has a solo somewhere between Scofield and Carlton with a dash of fleet footing Martino). Later, he demonstrates gorgeous nylon-string polyphony as Jacqui Dankworth sings (Time is no Fool). And then theres his evocative acoustic work (Arequipa)…Open Spaces demonstrates enough compositional and stylistic colour from his five man band to suggest bebop is far from being Allard’s only (jazz) brush.
Chris Allard, Ovation Prize Winner with an engagement book that reads like a who’s who of jazz, fills the guitar chair with his usual eclectic aplomb.
slick, vibrant performance of incredible technical ability and improvisation …Chris Allard hitting the scintillating high notes on the guitar
Chris Allard was impeccable, whether playing acoustic guitar, or finding variety in a whole range of subtle pedal effects. And impeccably dressed.
Superb guitar playing by Chris Allard
One of this country’s finest guitarists
Brilliant new band of rising stars
What a fantastic guitarist!
I love how the electric guitar (using volume control), sounds like French horns…he creates beautiful colouristic textures, in context of the harmonies – the note/chords really create that depth of dimension, as well as subtly implied countermelodies in the polyphony … Not to forget that wonderful French horn sound …
This amazing guitarist, who has played in some amazing venues across the country, comes to the jazz cafe to launch his new album Open Spaces on Audacious records, tonight.
John Fordham in his guardian review singled out the lightness of touch in Ralph Towners Beppo, with guitarist Chris Allard on stunning form both laying down the groove and soloing…Excellent player…
Fabulous band of young musicians
An excellent guitarist!
Chris Allard … Europe’s leading exponent of the great Pat Metheny.
Great playing…beautiful…a real guitar player
Expect great guitar playing this evening as the sublime Chris Allard Band perform at the Jazz Cafe