Undoubtedly a show at the hands of the band’s guest guitarist Forcione, and unveiling a set largely lent from the deep catalogue of this charismatic virtuoso, Allen and Collins’ respective sax and trumpet input only magnified the native timbre ever-present in the arrangements. The Moroccan feel fit for ‘Gypsy Dreams’ would hear Collins briefly banish his Hubbard-like licks in favour of faint flugel textures.
Typically ambient here, but punchy when contending with Forcione’s raw, and often aggressive finger-style, declared a din almost akin to one Zirelli would later make, exhausting every bit of his kit to flatter a flamenco-flavoured guitar solo ‘Tears of Joy’. At the heart of this tireless set – that would also announce some serious big band chops to honour Mancini, a languid samba for Mandela, and Zirelli borrowing breaks from the JBs to order the horn and Hammond solos carving up the coda of ‘Maurizio’s Party’ – revealed a couple of cool customers in Allen and Collins. A dynamic duo at the height of their game, leaving their audience overly-content but confused as to why this finely-fused collective don’t map out a regular future together.
Originally published in Jazzwise Magazine, July issue 2012.