Firehouse 12 To Present Ben Allison & Man Size Safe May 29th

April 29, 2009
Photo by Todd Chalfant

Photo by Todd Chalfant

On Friday, May 29th, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present acclaimed bassist/composer Ben Allison with his newest ensemble, Man Size Safe, as part of the venue’s ongoing 2009 Spring Jazz Series.  The band, which takes its name from a secret storage vault in former Vice President Dick Cheney’s office, mixes joyous exuberance and good-humored irreverence with textured grooves and the occasional political jab.  Allison will be joined for this two-set performance by Jenny Sheinman (violin), Shane Endsley (trumpet), Steve Cardenas (guitar) and Michael Sarin (drums). 

Critics called Man Size Safe’s 2008 debut, Little Things Run The World (Palmetto Records), “one of the best jazz releases of the year” (Time Out Chicago), noting that its “combination of folk intrigue, jazz sophistication and rock ’n’ roll punch is a rare but entirely welcome one” (Michael J. West, JazzTimes).  “Allison’s facility for conjuring lush soundscapes from a limited instrumental palette places him in a rarefied league,” wrote’s Troy Collins.  “Bittersweet melodies, rich contrapuntal harmonies and syncopated cross-rhythms all coalesce under the banner of jazz improvisation…Allison offers a buoyantly optimistic view of American music informed by non-Western traditions.”

Regarded as “one of New York’s more interesting jazz bandleaders” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times) for more than a decade, Allison is also an active sideman and a mainstay in a variety of categories in DownBeat‘s annual readers’ and critics’ polls.  He has appeared on over 40 recordings and written music for film, television and radio, including the theme for NPR’s On the MediaLittle Things Run The World is his eighth and latest recording as a leader.  It stayed in the weekly CMJ Jazz Chart’s Top 20 for over four months and was included in best-of-the-year lists in such publications as, Billboard, the Boston Globe, DownBeat, JazzTimes, the New York Times and the Village Voice.  

2009 Spring Jazz Series schedule:

03/20: Julian Lage Group
03/27: Jimmy Greene Quartet
04/03: Pete Robbins/Mario Pavone/Tyshawn Sorey
04/10: George Colligan Trio
04/17: Wadada Leo Smith’s Organic Resonance
04/24: Noah Preminger Quartet
05/01: Michaël Attias Quintet
05/08: Peter Brötzmann/Nasheet Waits
05/15: James Carney Group
05/22: Michael Musillami Trio + 3
05/29: Ben Allison & Man Size Safe
06/05: Carl Maguire’s Floriculture
06/12: Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher

Tickets and more information available at: