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Andrew Allen discusses jazz tribute to 'Star Wars'
(Published: November 22, 2015)

For Andrew Allen, the Force awakened when he was a child. With a new Star Wars film being released next month, the timing of Allen's latest effort, Live! From the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute, couldn't have been better.

Jazz is often serious business so the existence of this album delivers an exhilarating dose of fun although the tight musicianship throughout is no laughing matter.

Q: When did you become a Star Wars fan.

A: I became a Star Wars fan when I was 6 or 7. My parents bought me the collector's edition VHS pack of Episode IV, V, and VI for Christmas; I was hooked ever since.

Q: What made you decide to do a Star Wars-themed album.

A: I've wanted to do a Star Wars-themed album for the past 4 years. I love the music and I have a deep respect for John Williams, so I wanted to wait until I could really do the source material justice. I gave myself four years to work on playing and composing skills before I gave Star Wars the jazz treatment.

Q: How long did it take you to put the record together.

A: I wrote my arrangements for the CD during fall 2014. The album was recorded in March 2015, and Kickstarter funding started in April 2015. The CD was officially released in July 2015.

Q: How has the reaction been thus far with Star Wars devotees.

A: I've only received positive reviews from the internet community. I'm sure that some of the hardcore Star Wars fans might have a problem with it, but I tried to be as supportive to the original source material as possible. Themes are clearly stated throughout the CD, but we did utilize some hyper-funky grooves and solo lines in-between.

Q: The CD was a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive. How did that come about.

A: We submitted the CD to San Diego Comic-Con in early 2015, and was accepted as an exclusive a few weeks before the event.

Q: How would you describe your music has creatively evolved throughout the years.

A: I have definitely grown as a musician and composer over the past four years. It's difficult for me to listen to some of my previous albums, because I know that I could play them better now. Most young jazz artists struggle with melodic development, and I was certainly one of them.

In my earlier years, I was more concerned with how fast I could play something than what I was about connecting with the audience. I found out later in life that it's not about how many notes you play; it's about playing the notes that matter.

More Information: http://andrewallentrio.com

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