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Eyes . . . In The Back Of Your Head (1997)

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Geri Allen

This is possibly pianist Geri Allen's most advanced release. Always a pianist with her own voice, the increasingly original Allen performs three atmospheric piano solos, including a version of Ron Carter's "Little Waltz," during which she adds a little bit of synthesizer. There is a duet with percussionist Cyro Baptista, two duets with altoist Ornette Coleman (who through the years has almost never recorded as a sideman), and four numbers in which Allen is joined by her husband trumpeter Wallace Roney (two of which also include Baptista). Except for the Ornette pieces, Allen is the dominant force throughout the intriguing set, which includes the very haunting "Windows to the Soul" (dedicated to the recently departed drummer Tony Williams). The music is mostly avant-garde, but purposeful and logical in its own fashion. Well worth several listens. ~ Scott Yanow