By Eunice Moseley
Bass player Allen Carman releases a new solo project, “Carmanology” and his skills on it are so good it left me wanting to hear more. Released on April 5, 2019 Allen shares the spotlight on “Carmanology” (ACP Music) with some iconic musicians such as Grammy Award winning Nile Rodgers (guitar), Rick Braun (trumpet), Gumbi Ortiz (percussions), Philippe Saisse (keyboard), Marc Antoine (guitar) Evan Garr (violin), Don Harris (trumpet), Andy Snitzer (sax) and Bill Harris (trumpet).
“He’s a legend to me as well,” Allen said about Nile Rodgers when I complimented him for having such an icon on his project. “I’m so excited I landed that opportunity to get him involved. To my knowledge this is the first time for him getting into the Smooth Jazz world. He’s done so much in his career.”
Nile Rodgers is a three-time Grammy Award winning music producer, composer, arranger and guitarist. He is best known for co-founding the group Chic (“Good Times”) and for his songwriting/producing on the works of Sister Sledge (“We are Family”) and Diana Ross (“I’m Coming Out”).
Allen is a lawyer, he said because this mother couldn’t see him playing bass for a living at 30.
“I was practicing law for 20 some years,” Allen recalls about how when he reached 30 years-old he heeded his mother’s advice and went back to school, received his Law Degree and eventually passed the Bar Exam. “I’m excited again about playing. So much unexpected successes…I always felt more of a musician than a lawyer.”
He said the time away from playing the bass only made him a little rusty, but I couldn’t tell on “Carmanology.” Very seldom do I hear a bass take the lead on a song and when Carman did, it was too short for me.
“I needed to get at that level to keep up with the people I am playing with,” he laughed.
My favorite cuts on the “Carmanology” album include #1 “Groove Salad” because the horn playing is humming and that piano is crazy smooth; #3 “Carisma” because of Allen’s bass solo it left me wanting to hear more bass playing; #4 “State of Mind” because I love that Latin flavor; the title song “Carmanology” because its just crazy cool, and #9 “River” because of its fairytale/Christmas/holiday feel that rides on the wings of excellent piano playing, makes it just heavenly.
Producers of “Carmanology” are Ortiz and Saisse. The project just released its fourth single “Hearsay,” which so far has reached #41 on the Smooth Jazz Chart. www.TheAllenCarmanProject.com.