Reviews that mention Lina Allemano

July 1, 2022


Tone Festival June 2022
Toronto, Ont.

By Ken Waxman

Mixing intensity and imagination, the Nomad power trio dominated the night’s final set during Toronto’s ongoing TONE festival June 24. Consisting of Vancouver’s Gordon Grdina’s guitar and oud plus Americans Matt Mitchell on piano and Jim Black on drums, the three shook their way through a collection of originals that would gladden a Metalhead’s metal heart, but never sacrificed improvisational polish for pressure. Grdina’s one oud outing showed how Maghreb-like stop-time echoes could be integrated into foot-tapping rhythm projected by contrapuntal piano chording and a relaxed Jazz feel from the drummer. Still, distinctive musical alchemy was also performed on the other tunes. MORE

February 17, 2022

Tania Gill Quartet

Disappearing Curiosities
TJG 001


Music in Unusual Spaces

Matt Clark Music MCM 0023

To properly interpret their music. two chordal-instrument-playing composers recruited quartet members expert on the exact same instruments. While equally captivating, Toronto pianist Tania Gill has created the equivalent of a short story collection, while Brighton-based guitarist Matt Clark limits his new quartet to one novella-length and two short story-like expressions. Gill, who also devotes one track to Moog expression, is involved in the improvised and notated music worlds. As versatile are her associates, drummer Nico Dann, bassist Rob Clutton. and trumpeter Lina Allemano, all Torontonians. Brighton-based guitarist Matt Clark is the namesake of the MC4, with those joining him for space exploration, London trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe, bassist Ozzy Moysey and drummer James Edmunds. MORE

January 8, 2022

El Intruso 14th Annual International Critics Poll

2021 Ballot
Ken Waxman JazzWord Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Album of the year: Julius Hemphill, The Boyé Multi-National Crusade for Harmony (New World)

Musician of the year Kris Davis, Ivo Perelman

Newcomer Musician: Charlotte Keefe (trumpet)

Group of the year: Umlaut Big Band

Newcomer group: Square Peg: Gordon Grdina, Shazad Ismall, Christain Lillinger

Composer: David Sanford, Elliott Sharp, Michael Formanek

Drums: Günter Baby Sommer, Carlo Costa, Peter Orins

Acoustic Bass: Barry Guy, Joëlle Léandre MORE

June 12, 2021

See Through 4

Permanent Moving Parts
All Set! Editions AS014

Aiming for the optimum interpretation of eight of his compositions, Toronto’s Pete Johnston convenes a new version of his See Through ensemble that balances his bass and the drums of long-time associate Jake Oelrichs with two more locals, trumpeter Lina Allemano and vibraphonist Michael Davidson. The results are usually refined, sometimes rollicking and mostly remarkable.

Relying on the instant capillary responses of Allemano, who also has a presence in Berlin, most of the tracks slide through multiple moods. Like the introductory “Underground over Night” the majority of the tunes are taken allegro, with the trumpeter illuminating themes with mid-range brassiness as vibraphone bar slides and ratchets dab expressive tonal tinctures onto the speedy exposition. The bass and drums preserve the chromatic flow until the head is recapped or new variable are introduced. Brass notes soaring over the narratives are common as are harmonized trumpet and vibe lines. With the compositions paramount, solos are kept to a minimum, with the vibist’s most notable contribution on “Quietly Fading Fast” as slippery four-mallet echoes slide vivace atop drum rolls and a walking bass line. Oelrichs’ contributions are often daring as well, as when he logically knits pops, crackles and nerve beats into staccato accompaniment on “Possible Daylight Dreams”. Then on “Surrender before Then” uses time press rolls and ruffs to confirm the beboppy line propelled by repeated trumpet patterns and diffident metal bar judders and crackles., MORE

April 28, 2021

Lina Allemano Four

Lumo Records LM 2021-11

By Ken Waxman

The experienced musical chefs who make up the Lina Allemano Four sauté the ingredients in this six course musical feast to produce nourishing sounds with the facility of any well-ordered kitchen crew. That’s no surprise since this Toronto-based group has been cooking on trumpeter Allemano’s originals since 2005. Besides her gritty and/or dulcet trumpet textures, the sous chef contributions include reed garnishes from Brodie West’s alto saxophone, bassist’s Andrew Downing upfront throbbing as amuse-bouches plus the nutrients added from Nick Fraser’s chunky drum beats. MORE

March 23, 2021


Lumo Records 2021-12

By Ken Waxman

An awkward name for adroit innovators, BLOOP is actually Toronto trumpeter Lina Allemano extending her horn’s timbres with mutes, percussion and whistling as well as having them live processed with effects by Mike Smith.

Playful, pugnacious and profound, the eight improvisations multiply and mulch brass textures so that Allemano often seems to be playing more than one horn simultaneously, with a singular mid-range narrative and at least one other tone squeaking and peeping at elevated pitches. Below and beside this are percussion additions created by her maracas-like shakes, cow bell raps, bolo-bat-like smacks and synthesized rumbles, which are concurrently inflated electronically in real time. The trumpet bell shoved against the mike or metal plus mouthpiece sucking and tongue pops add to the jolting progressive impact. MORE

January 11, 2021

El Intruso 13th Annual International Critics Poll 2020

Spanish Website
Ken Waxman’s ballot

Ken Waxman

(Periodista canadiense, editor de JazzWord. Durante muchos años ha escrito para los principales periódicos canadienses e internacionales y realiza comentarios sobre música en diferentes programas de radio)

Músico: “Covid 19”

Músico Revelación: “Covid 19”

Grupo: Leimgruber/Demierre/Phillips

Grupo Revelación: Tonus

Álbum: Various Artists – New Improvised Music from Buenos Aires (ESP Disk)

November 26, 2020

Lina Allemano

Glimmer Glimmer
Lumo Records LM 2019-09

Axel Dörner


Onon/Skating Pears SPF-007

One of the curses and challenges of being a serial innovator is that a constant need to change always exists. This is especially true among vanguard musicians. Berlin-based trumpeter Axel Dörner for instance besides playing with everyone from Andrea Neumann to Alexander von Schippenbach, has been one of the creators of a unique solo trumpet agenda. Once that exercise in extended techniques was established though, he’s now extending it still further with electronics. That’s what enlivens Unversicht. Meanwhile trumpeter Lina Allemano, who splits her time between Berlin and Toronto and who studied with Dörner in mid-decade, has released her first solo disc, which adapts pre-electronic extended brass techniques in her own fashion. MORE

July 16, 2020

Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus

Rats and Mice
Lumo Records LM 2019-10

By Ken Waxman

Splitting her time between Toronto and Berlin, local trumpeter Lina Allemano now has a European combo to complement her long-standing Canadian bands. Rock-solid German drummer Michael Griener and agile Norwegian electric bassist Dan Peter Sundland bring startling originality to the trumpeter’s compositions which broaden from Allemano’s cunning use of extended techniques. Frequently shadowing Allemano’s lead, the bassist’s thumb pops and moderated slaps perfectly augment trumpet timbres whether they’re spit out at a speedy pace or as grounded gurgling growls. As for the drummer, his tasteful side clips and rolling ruffs ensure the tunes maintain a steady pulse. MORE

January 13, 2020

Nick Fraser/Kris Davis/Tony Malaby

Astral Spirits MF216/AS 112

By Ken Waxman

Somewhat of a misnomer, since Toronto drummer Nick Fraser, Canadian-in-Brooklyn pianist Kris Davis and New York saxophonist Tony Malaby are joined by German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Toronto/Berlin trumpeter Lina Allemano on half of the six tracks. Still, this Toronto-recorded session is effective with both configurations.

As a trio, especially on Davis’ composition “Events”, the exposition is pulled out to a logical point with the pianist’s rapid key clipping and Malaby’s intense growling action climaxing together, until dark piano voicing coupled with a tender reed line transform the track into a near ballad. Meanwhile in quintet form the tunes modulate from ambulatory to atonal. The former is exposed on Fraser’s “Wells Tower”, when balanced and individual split tones from Laubrock on tenor and Malaby on soprano saxophones bounce to a neatly harmonized intensity as the trumpeter creates a brassy affirmation to the narrative. Free sounds get are featured most prominently on “Sketch 46”, another Fraser line. Here intermittent keyboard patterning plus strumming and stopped internal piano strings form the backdrop to crying corkscrew sequences and no-key pressure blowing from the reeds as Allemano’s twitters and doodles course among the reed layers, with the track firmly anchored and completed by chiming keyboard runs. MORE

September 17, 2019

Michael Vlatkovich/5 Winds

Five of Us

By Ken Waxman

Gathering four of Toronto’s most accomplished horn players to collaborate on his 9 Winds Suite and other compositions, American trombonist Michael Vlatkovich recorded this disc at Array Space, producing sounds that recall both a disciplined concert band and a freeform improvising ensemble.

Dividing the presentation so that the higher-pitched trumpets of Lina Allemano and Nicole Rampersaud are contrapuntally stacked against darker timbres from David Mott’s and Peter Lutek’s saxophones, the trombonist challenges or harmonizes with each group in turn, lowing snarls when called for and shrilling flutter tones when necessary. Working through call-and-response sections as well as individual solo spots, the crafty arrangements are particularly notable on the suite. Sophisticatedly layered to highlight individual voices, a climax of sorts arrives with “Part 5: Five”. Mott’s baritone saxophone sighs move from melodious harmony to screaming intensity as the muted brass tones bolster the background. Although top-of-range cries and slurs dominate, dissonance never upsets forward motion. MORE

January 2, 2019

Jazztopad Festival 2018

November 20-25, 2018
Wroclaw, Poland

By Ken Waxman

Photos by Susan O'Connor

Inclusion is what makes Jazztopad, the annual festival in Wroclaw, Poland, so notable. While visitors see a cross-section of international players on stage at the modernist, glass-clad Witold Lutoslawski National Forum of Music (NFM) each night, they’re also welcome at the nightly jam sessions in the funky basement Mleczarnia Club around the corner. On weekend afternoons they can participate in house concerts in selected locations around Wroclaw, where accomplished locals trade musical ideas with visiting players, including some featured at NFM concerts. MORE

November 6, 2018

The Cluttertones

SnailBongBong SBB 005

Okkyung Lee

Cheol-Kkot-Sae [Steel.Flower.Bird]

Tzadik TZ 4923

Big Bold Back Bone

In Search of the Emerging Species

Shhpuma SSH 032 CD

Elliott Sharp’s Carbon

Transmigration at the Solar Max

Intakt CD 311

Pavillon Rouge

Solution n⸰5

LFDS Records LFDS 006

Something in the Air: Eclectic: Electronics stretches the definition of Innovative Music

By Ken Waxman MORE

August 6, 2018

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin

Ninety-Nine Years
Libra Records 211-047

Some people collect classic cars, others specific paintings, but Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii collects groups. Besides the number of duos, trios and quartets the peripatetic pianist is part of, she has organized – at last count – five different big bands, each relating to where in Europe, Asia or North America she happened to be residing at the time. At the same time Ninety-Nine Years, a new configuration of her Orchestra Berlin, demonstrates that her skill as orchestrator, pianist and composer are formidable for every item in her collection. She has help of course. Featured on this disc’s five tracks, are besides her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, of international, Berlin-based players Polish baritone saxophonist Paulina Owczarek, French drummer Peter Orins, Canadian trumpeter Lina Allemano, and Germans Richard Koch (trumpet(; Matthias Müller (trombone); Matthias Schubert and Gebhard Ullmann (tenor saxophones); Jan Roder (bass) and Michael Griener (drums). MORE

January 11, 2018

Lina Allemano Four

Sometimes Y
Lumo Records LM 2017-7


Avant Garde Party Music

Clean Feed CF 441 CD

With brevity of execution on their side two similarly constituted quartets – one Canadian and one Norwegian – have come up with singular takes on the piano-less group. Both Toronto-based trumpeter Lina Allemano Four and Norway’s Cortex take advantage of the airiness engendered with not being constructed by chordal instruments. However Allemano’s group, filled out by alto saxophonist Brodie West, bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Nick Fraser operates more in the mold of Ornette Coleman’s 1960s groups with Don Cherry. A younger ensemble than the 12-year-old Four, though with more sessions in its discography, Cortex, made up of trumpeter Thomas Johansson, alto and tenor saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, bassist Ola Hoyer and drummer Gard Nilssen brings a shot of Punk-Rock energy to its eight selections which it barrels though in 37 minutes flat. MORE

June 27, 2005


Featuring Howard Johnson
Guildwood GR 006

Several Lights
Delmark DE 561

Long the most neglected member of the improv brass family – at least since Wellman Braud switched from it to the string bass to meet the demands of Duke Ellington’s 1920s band – the tuba’s orphan status has improved over the past decades.

Because of such subterranean sound sponsors as Americans Howard Johnson, Bob Stewart and Joe Daley, and Giancarlo Schiaffini, Melvyn Poore and Carl Ludwig Hübsch in Europe – among many others – it’s now accepted as a solo as well as a rhythmic instrument. Modern tubaists have so extended the flexibility and range of the brass beast that it’s showing up with increasingly frequency on all sorts of sessions, such as these two. In fact, tuba suppleness is such that each quartet sounds completely unlike other. MORE