“Geri Allen and Kurt Rosenwinkel are beautifully compatible. Their sound and musicality are a perfect fit on this gem recording. So happy it is finally being shared with the world!  I always felt that Geri’s chordal motion was very guitar-oriented, so the simpatico between them is no surprise.” – Terri Lyne Carrington 

Motéma Music, in harmonious collaboration with Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Heartcore Records, looks forward to joyfully unveiling to the world a musical treasure that has been hidden in the vaults of Cite de La Musique in Paris since 2012. The delicate masterwork, A Lovesome Thing allows the magical synergy between the late and legendary pianist Geri Allen and the innovative and very much in-demand guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel to be heard for the first time on record. For friends and fans of Geri Allen, who were heartbroken by her untimely death in 2017, this release offers a blessed opportunity to hear her voice (both musically and literally) once again and to experience a magical evening of music that was especially important to her. 

Terri Lyne Carrington, one of Allen’s closest collaborators notes, “This is an important album in the rich legacy of Geri Allen recordings, and I believe the fans of Kurt Rosenwinkel will be quite delighted as well!” “Everybody wanted to play with Geri Allen –” began Allen Morrison’s July 2022 Downbeat feature, inducting her into the Downbeat Hall of Fame. “…Ornette Coleman, Betty Carter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, Esperanza Spalding, David Murray, Terri Lyne Carrington, and on and on.” Add to that list the great Kurt Rosenwinkel, who invited her to sit in with his band at the Jazz Standard in July of 2012. The simpatico was strong.  “Geri was so impressed with the flow and the freedom of the music she experienced during that one night that she urged me to arrange another performance with Kurt as soon as possible,” explains Ora Harris, Geri’s long-time manager. “So Anders Chan-Tidemann, Kurt Rosenwinkel’s manager at the time, and I put our heads together and were able to book a duo date for Geri and Kurt to perform later that year at the Jazz à la Villette festival in Paris.“  The concert took place on Sept 5th, 2012 before a packed and hugely appreciative audience at the famed Philharmonie de Paris, a stunningly beautiful hall with world-renowned acoustics.

Allen and Rosenwinkel flew in that night from separate cities. There was no rehearsal. Yet in a mesmerizing display of improvised musical telepathy, they wove a harmonious tapestry, enthralling their listeners with layers upon layers of ambiguous yet mystically elegant and expansive expressions.  The tones of the guitar and piano merged and re-emerged in a dense and majestic field where musical ideas budded, blossomed, turn to seed, and sprouted anew as the artists thoroughly re-imagined Strayhorn, Gershwin, and Monk and each revealed two delightful and never-before-recorded originals.  As their instruments became extensions of their beings, notes flew between them as if an unseen hand was directing this intimate conversation between maestros.  It was soul-stirring, and lovesome.

“There was a strong bond between Geri and myself: a beautiful internal smile, a deep respect.” Rosenwinkel relates.  “I am so grateful we had the opportunity to work together. We talked through the years about projects we wanted to do, songs we wanted to play, but alas, we only had the chance to play a few times. This concert was the first and only time we played duo together. There was no rehearsal.”

The artists were so caught up in their musical collaboration that night that they mutually vowed to memorialize their creative bond in the studio soon.  “Geri spoke often to me of her desire to record with Kurt,” says Motéma founder and director Jana Herzen. “And it was an idea I was keen to pursue.”  Fate, however, had other plans, and the dream of a studio date died along with Geri when she succumbed to complications related to cancer in 2017. 

She was just sixty. Her death shocked the jazz community. Messages of respect and love poured in from the far corners of the jazz world evidencing Allen’s quiet, yet totally pervasive influence on contemporary jazz.  “In this music, there was before Geri Allen and after Geri Allen. She’s that important,” wrote pianist Ethan Iverson.  “She truly has had a great influence on my style and approach to music thanks to her innate genius,” wrote Herbie Hancock.  “Her spirit and legacy will live on forever,” said McCoy Tyner, who Allen herself had tributed with her solo masterwork “‘Flying Toward The Sound,” which marked her 2010 Motéma debut.

In his album note, Rosenwinkel comments that “Geri was a powerful force: a master musician and a true Magician. I felt a connection with her –  the level of interaction with the subtle planes, the inner lives of spirit and contact with the universe. We felt it in the music, something magical happening, and I believe you can hear it in this recording,” Indeed we can hear it.  The guitarist proved to be a perfect musical soulmate for the soft-spoken Allen, whose sensitivity was as legendary as her playing.  If she were here, she would surely endorse Rosenwinkel in equally glowing terms, as did the New York Times, which commented, “Kurt Rosenwinkel can say more in a few lines (of music) than most guitarists manage over the course of an entire career.” 

Motéma’s founder and president,  Jana Herzen, who oversaw the release of four prior acclaimed Allen albums, worked in loving detail with Rosenwinkel as well as with illustrator Jenya Hitz, mastering engineer Alan Sliverman, and Motéma’s long-time graphic artist Rebecca Meek to create the Lovesome package. For those who revere the legacy of Geri Allen, admire the virtuosity of Kurt Rosenwinkel, or simply appreciate the enchanting allure of piano and guitar jazz, this album serves as a portal to an ephemeral moment when music transcended the mundane and reached the sublime. 

The release of A Lovesome Thing finds Rosenwinkel in a watershed moment as he tours to support the four Heartcore albums that he’s released since January of 2022: Undercover, Berlin Baritone, The Chopin Project, and Kurt Rosenwinkel Plays Piano.  Happily, he will be joining Motéma in Paris on as part of a three-night celebration of the label’s 20th Anniversary releases to take place at the Sunset/Sunside Club in Paris on November 2–4.  On Nov 2 & 3, the Afro/jazz/flamenco trio Flamenkora and Mongolian piano sensation Shuteen Erdenebaatar (with her Quartet) will celebrate their debut recordings, and then on November 4, Rosenwinkel will close out the celebration with music from A Lovesome Thing performed with pianist Gerald Clayton who previously worked under Allen’s wing in her ‘Errol Garner, Concert by the Sea’ project.   


Track Listing: 

  1. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing (10:19)
  2. Embraceable You (11:47)
  3. Geri’s Introductions (1:13)
  4. Simple #2 (7:52)
  5. Ruby My Dear (11:21)
  6. Kurt’s Introductions (00:10)
  7. Open-Handed Reach (10:50)


KURT ROSENWINKEL will perform music from A LOVESOME THING with pianist GERALD CLAYTON on Nov 4@ Sunset Club, 60, RUE DES LOMBARDS – PARIS 1ST, FRANCE

 Tickets on sale at Sunset-Sunside.com


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