G. Thomas Allen Quintet

Sat, Nov 09

G. Thomas Allen Quintet Cover

On Sunday, November 14, 2021, Chicago-based vocalist G. Thomas Allen made history by becoming the first male to win 1st Place at The Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held at Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Allen wowed judges and music lovers with his formidable yet fluid vocals, as evidenced by the standing ovation he received when he performed his riveting rendition of Errol Garner’s immortal classic, “Misty.” Since that fateful night, Allen has graced some of the world's most prestigious venues and honed his vivid voice into the amazing instrument it is. “[Winning the competition] was a beautiful experience,” Allen fondly reminisced, “and it changed my life forever.” Allen’s stratospheric vocals are in full effect on his new recording, Love Affair: Serenades of the Heart, a cool and caressing collection of standards, vocal interludes, and original compositions that narrate and navigate the intricate nuances of romance. The follow-up to his 2020 self-titled album, Love Affair, is a conceptual evolution from Allen’s first record. “The first album is a collection of songs,” Allen says. “I had a lot of melodies, and I wanted to get them on paper and put them out. [The new recording] is a bit more thematic and dramatic in terms of the focus. I wanted to have an album that shows the complexity of love, the good and the bad.” Supported by drummer Jonathan Pinson, bassist Jeremiah Hunt, pianist Dennis Luxion (who worked with Chet Baker), and alto saxophonist Brent Griffin, Allen’s expressive and elegiac vocals on the album’s ten selections ride on a melodic, moving magic carpet powered by intricate and evocative moods and grooves.