Geri Allen

Born June 12, 1957
Pontiac, Michigan, U.S.
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Died June 27, 2017 (aged 60)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Genres Jazz, post-bop, blues music, funk, gospel

Occupation(s) Musician
Record producer
Instruments Piano

Geri Allen (June 12, 1957 – June 27, 2017) was an American jazz pianist and composer.

Allen was an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Allen was born in Pontiac, Michigan and educated in the Detroit Public Schools.

In 2006, Allen was commissioned to compose “For the Healing of the Nations”, a Sacred Jazz Suite for Voices, written in tribute to the victims, survivors and their families of the September 11 attacks. The suite was performed by Howard University’s Afro-Blue Jazz Choir, under the direction of Connaitre Miller.

Allen had been a longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey before moving to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in 2012 after being offered the position of Director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Allen died on June 27, 2017, two weeks after her 60th birthday, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after suffering from cancer.


As leader/co-leader

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes

1984 The Printmakers Minor Music Anthony Cox, Andrew Cyrille
1985 Home Grown Minor Music Solo piano
1986 Open on All Sides in the Middle Minor Music Racy Biggs, Robin Eubanks, David McMurray, Steve Coleman, Jaribu Shahid, Tani Tabbal, Shahita Nurallah, Marcus Belgrave, Mino Cinelu, Lloyd Storey
1989 Twylight Minor Music Jaribu Shahid, Tani Tabbal, Sadiq Bey, Eli Fountain, Clarice Taylor Bell
1989 In the Year of the Dragon JMT Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1989 Segments DIW Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1990 The Nurturer Blue Note Marcus Belgrave, Kenny Garrett, Robert Hurst, Eli Fountain
1990 Live at the Village Vanguard DIW Charlie Haden, Paul Motian
1992 Maroons Blue Note Marcus Belgrave, Wallace Roney, Anthony Cox, Dwayne Dolphin, Pheeroan akLaff, Tani Tabbal
1994 Twenty One Blue Note Ron Carter, Tony Williams
1995–96 Eyes in the Back of Your Head Blue Note Wallace Roney, Ornette Coleman, Cyro Baptista
1996 Some Aspects of Water Storyville Henrik Bolberg Pedersen, Johnny Coles, Kjeld Ipsen, Axel Windfeld, Michael Hove, Uffe Markussen, Palle Danielsson, Lenny White
1998 The Gathering Verve Wallace Roney, Robin Eubanks, Dwight Andrews, Vernon Reid, Ralphe Armstrong, Buster Williams, Lenny White, Mino Cinelu
2004 The Life of a Song Telarc Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette
2006 Timeless Portraits and Dreams Telarc Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb with Wallace Roney, Donald Walden, Carmen Lundy, George Shirley, and The Atlanta Jazz Chorus directed by Dwight Andrews
2010 Flying Toward the Sound Motéma Solo piano
2010 Geri Allen & Timeline Live Motéma Kenny Davis, Kassa Overall, Maurice Chestnut
2011 A Child Is Born Motéma Solo keyboards with vocalists
2012 Grand River Crossings Motéma “Motown & Motor City Inspirations”, solo piano featuring Marcus Belgrave, David McMurray
2016 Perfection Motéma Trio featuring David Murray and Terri Lyne Carrington
As sidewoman

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2011)
With Cecil Brooks III

The Collective (Muse, 1989)
With Roy Brooks

Duet in Detroit (Enja, 1989 [1993])
With Betty Carter

Droppin’ Things (Verve, 1993)
Feed the Fire (Verve, 1993)
With Ornette Coleman

Sound Museum: Hidden Man (Harmolodic/Verve, 1996)
Sound Museum: Three Women (Harmolodic/Verve, 1996)
With Steve Coleman

Motherland Pulse (JMT, 1985)
And Five Elements: On the Edge of Tomorrow (JMT, 1986)
And Five Elements: World Expansion (JMT, 1986)
And Five Elements: Sine Die (Pangaea, 1986) on one track only
With Buddy Collette

Flute Talk (Soul Note, 1988) with James Newton
With Charlie Haden

Etudes (Soul Note, 1987)
The Montreal Tapes: with Geri Allen and Paul Motian (Verve, 1989 [1997])
The Montreal Tapes: Liberation Music Orchestra (Verve, 1989 [1999])
With Oliver Lake

Expandable Language (Black Saint, 1984)
Otherside (Gramavision, 1988)
Talkin’ Stick (Passin’ Thru, 2000)
At This Time (Intakt, 2009)
With Charles Lloyd

Lift Every Voice (ECM, 2002)
Jumping the Creek (ECM, 2004)
With Frank Lowe

Decision in Paradise (Soul Note, 1984)
With Paul Motian

Monk in Motian (JMT, 1988)
With Greg Osby

Mindgames (JMT, 1988)
With Dewey Redman

Living on the Edge (Black Saint, 1989)
With Gregory Charles Royal

Dream Come True (GCR 1979 reissued Celeste Japan 2008)
With Woody Shaw

Bemsha Swing (Blue Note, 1986 [1997])
With John Stubblefield

Bushman Song (Enja, 1986)
With Gary Thomas

By Any Means Necessary (JMT, 1989)
With Trio 3 (Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman & Andrew Cyrille)

At This Time (Intakt, 2009)
Celebrating Mary Lou Williams (Intakt, 2011)
With the Mary Lou Williams Collective

Zodiac Suite: Revisited (Mary, 2006)

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