born on 25/5/1924 in Louisville, KY, United States
Marshall Belford Allen (born May 25, 1924) is an American free jazz and avant-garde jazz alto saxophone player. He also performs on flute, oboe, piccolo, and EVI (an electronic valve instrument made by Steiner, Crumar company).
Allen is best known for his work with eccentric keyboardist/bandleader Sun Ra, having recorded and performed mostly in this context since the late 1950s, and having led Sun Ra's Arkestra since 1993. Critic Jason Ankeny describes Marshall as "one of the most distinctive and original saxophonists of the postwar era."
Marshall Allen was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
During the Second World War he enlisted in the 92nd Infantry Division and was stationed in France. Allen studied alto saxophone in Paris and played in Europe with Art Simmons and James Moody.
He is best known for his mastery of pyrotechnic effects on the alto - he has said that he "wanted to play on a broader sound basis rather than on chords" (1971 interview with Tam Fiofori cited in). The opportunity came through his long association with Sun Ra, with whom he performed almost exclusively from 1958 to Ra's death in 1993, although he did record outside the Arkestra, notably with Paul Bley's group in 1964 and with Olatunji's group during the mid-1960s. Critic Scott Yanow has described Allen's playing as "Johnny Hodges from another dimension".
Since the departure of Sun Ra and John Gilmore, Allen has led the Arkestra, and has recorded two albums as their bandleader. In May 2004, Allen celebrated his 80th birthday on stage with the Arkestra, as part of their performance at the Ninth Vision Festival in New York City. Allen gave another performance on his birthday in 2008 at Sullivan Hall in New York City.
Allen often appears in NYC-area collaborations with bassist Henry Grimes and has also participated in the "Outerzone Orchestra" together with Francisco Mora Catlett, Carl Craig and others in an appreciation of Sun Ra's music.
- 1988: 'Mark-N-Marshall: Monday
- 1988: Mark-N-Marshall: Tuesday
- 1999: Pozest
- 2010: Night Logic RogueArt
- Marshall Allen at All Music Guide
- Marshall Allen. Retrieved on 2007-10-06.
- Wilmer, Val (1977). As Serious as your life, Quartet.
- Official website of the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen
|Sun Ra (discography)|
|Members of the Arkestra||John Gilmore · Julian Priester · Pat Patrick · Victor Sproles · Marshall Allen · Ronnie Boykins · James Spaulding · Clifford Jarvis · Lex Humphries · June Tyson · Ahmed Abdullah|
|Chicago Studio Albums||Jazz by Sun Ra · Super-Sonic Jazz · Sound of Joy · Visits Planet Earth · The Nubians of Plutonia · Jazz in Silhouette · Sound Sun Pleasure!! · Interstellar Low Ways · Fate In A Pleasant Mood · Holiday For Soul Dance · Angels and Demons at Play · We Travel the Space Ways|
|New York Studio Albums||The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra · Bad and Beautiful · Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow · Secrets of the Sun · When Sun Comes Out · Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy · When Angels Speak of Love · Other Planes of There · The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume One · The Magic City · The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume Two · Strange Strings · Monorails and Satellites · Atlantis|
|Philadelphia Studio Albums||Space Is The Place · Space Is the Place (soundtrack) · Deep Purple · Visions · Lanquidity · Blue Delight · Purple Night|
|Live Albums||Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold · Live in Egypt 1 · Nidhamu · Horizon · Live In Montreux · Sunrise in Different Dimensions|