Andrew Allen Jazz Orckestra
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Andrew Allen Jazz Orckestra

Tampa, FL | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Tampa, FL | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Jazz Instrumental




"Jazz Corner Review"

Stellar musicianship make Andrew Allen Trio's jazzy "Star Wars" tribute soar
(Published: October 22, 2015)

The Force has awakened and with the imaginations of artists across the globe have been fueled by nostalgia from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Among the most inspired and certainly invigorating of the lot is Live! From the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute, an infectious, jubilant reworking of John Williams' classic scores from the Andrew Allen Trio.

Formerly a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive but now available worldwide, Live! From the Cantina is no cash grab; it is a loving and masterful homage to George Lucas' immortal space adventure. The original compositions are so smoothly adapted into a jazz format that it's shocking an album like this is so unique. The ominous stomp of "Imperial Theme" is altered into a joyful band march as Brad Esau's saxophone soars through the atmosphere. Allen's jamming Hammond b3 organ, Byron House's swirling bass lines, and Truman House's jumpy drums will elicit smiles from the meanest of Sith Lords.

Any preconceived notion that this is only a novelty album are immediately trashed. The musicianship on this record is absolutely impressive; these lads have got their chops down. Superior drum work kicks the "Main Theme" into high gear as funky bass heightens its rhythmic appeal; Esau's then carries the soaring orchestral hook home.

The original "Cantina Band" was always like an extraterrestrial take on jazz so it's not surprising that Allen and his band have the most fun here. Tribal drums add punch while Allen's bouncy keyboards elevate the party atmosphere to new heights. - Jazz Corner News

"No Depression Album Review"

With a new chapter already demolishing Fandango records, there is bound to be a plethora of Star Wars merchandise that will monopolize store shelves. However, some of the most interesting stuff are the unofficial products on the fringe, such as Live! From the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute, a charming and sharply rendered homage to John Williams' indelible soundtracks. This is no ordinary tweaking; the Andrew Allen Trio take the original compositions and swing for the moon, often hitting a grand slam.

Allen's ambitions are immediately evident on "Luke's Theme," stripping the introspective, melancholy tones of Williams' version for something familiar yet dramatically different. Brad Esau's soothing saxophone recaptures the easily recognizable melody but Allen shoots for a '60s vibe with his organ, reaching the twilight zone of psychedelic lounge music. As Allen is lost in an otherworldly groove, Esau and drummer Truman House are let off the chain. Esau's sax is smoking while House's drums stutter with wild abandon.

The target audience for this album will be, of course, Star Wars buffs; however, the tight chemistry between the musicians will reel in serious fans of the genre. The fiery saxophone and crashing drums of "Tie Fighter Attack" will pummel even the most exuberant of serious jazz groups. There is much to love here, one of the most original and inventive releases of the year. Highly recommended. - No Depression

"Fandomania Review"

They pretty much cover the expected tracks, including the “Main Theme,” “Cantina Band,” “The Imperial March,” and “Duel of the Fates” (probably the only good thing to come from The Phantom Menace). The covers are funkier and feature more instruments than previous release, mainly because of their successful Kickstarter. I’m pretty sure that any fan of the Star Wars music (and who isn’t a fan?) will love this album. Go grab it now; you won’t be disappointed! - Fandomania

"Jedi News Review"

From the opening blues of the Main Theme through to the Latin smooth of the Cantina Band and the jazz noodlings of Yoda’s Theme this is very much the kind of sound you’d expect to hear if you were seated in Chalmuns and swigging back a flameout. There’s a real snap to the only prequel track, the album closer Duel of the Fates while Han Solo and the Princess from Empire demonstrates some impressive restraint. - Jedi News

"San Diego Comic Con Review"

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this album is a new way to listen to the familiar John Williams iconic Star Wars music that we’ve all grown up with. “Live! From the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute” CD album by The Andrew Allen Trio is Jazziest way you’ve ever heard John Williams. This new album pays tribute to one of the most iconic set of music in film history: The music of Star Wars! We all know Star Wars distinctive music in just the first few notes, but this albums new take on Williams work lets you listen to music you know so well in new ways for new listening moods. - San Diego Comic Con

"Bulls Radio Album Review"

The musicianship is great throughout. I read somewhere that the best musicians play either classical or jazz. I tend to agree, even though the album, as I was told, is not completely “Jazz.” There are so many subtle nuances added that make an interesting rendition of heavily treaded material.

The album incorporated many elements from different genres. When I was listening to “Duel Of The Fates” I kind of felt I was at a Widespread Panic show. “Han and the Princess” is my personal favorite and it is classified as a ballad. That is a particularly emotional and impressive piece of music. Contrasting that, the “Cantina Band” is an extremely fast and fun track.

You can hear a passion for both music and the subject matter of Star Wars in the way the musicians play. The album sounds fun. - Bulls Radio

"Jazz Corner Q&A"

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. - Jazz Corner News

"All About Jazz Review"

The universal appeal of the Star Wars soundtrack cannot be denied. It has become so iconic that any reimagining of its music is sure to be highly scrutinized. The Andrew Allen Trio took a big risk in putting a jazz spin to the Star Wars soundtrack but it has paid off significantly. Their new album Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute is a testament to Allen's quirky creativity.

The first track in the album is "The Main Theme," which is the trademark Star Wars music. It starts off with drum beats, followed by bass and electric organ, before it builds up to the sax version of the epic verse. Star Wars never sounded so light and relaxing with the band's reimagining of the song. It's fresh, fun, and funky.

"Luke's Theme" is fueled by saxophone, electro pop, and jazz elements. What begins as a slow, stripped-down version of this signature track becomes upbeat and electric as the song progresses toward the end. The bass undertones and almost feathery drum beats make the cover more unique, and yes, addicting. Many twists and turns with pockets of surprises all throughout—may it be a sax solo, a funky play with synthesizers, or a groovy shift. This track is a like a hybrid lightsaber that cuts through all genres. The playful "Yoda's Theme" is like a happy pill that can brighten any gloomy day, an invigorating mix of blues, funk, and jazz. The bass solo is subtle but magnetic.

How Allen and his band fuses the music of the Star Wars cinematic universe with various musical styles inject it with new life; better yet, they do it without losing the original and distinct attributes of the indelible songs. While Allen is probably known for doing covers of movie, television, video game, and pop-culture hits, Star Wars is probably the biggest franchise he's taken on, but the Force is indeed strong with this young talent.

Track Listing: Star Wars Main Theme (From "Star Wars"); Parade of the Ewoks (From "Return of the Jedi"); Cantina Band (From "Star Wars"); The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) [From "The Empire Strikes Back"]; Princess Leia's Theme (From "Star Wars"); Tie Fighter Attack (From "Star Wars"); Han Solo and the Princess (From "The Empire Strikes Back"); Tales of a Jedi Knight (Luke's Theme) [From "Star Wars"]; Yoda's Theme (From "The Empire Strikes Back"); Duel of the Fates (From "The Phantom Menace").

Personnel: Andrew Allen: Hammond b3 and piano/composer; Byron House: bass; Truman House: drums; Brad Esau (special guest): saxophone. - Jim Olin


"Live! from The Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute"

  • Released: 2015
  • Format: CD and Digital
  • Label: Coverville Records (2015)
  • Producer: Brian Ibbott, Andrew Allen
  • Singles: “Duel of The Fates”, “Luke's Theme”

"Secret Identity: The Music of MARVEL and DC"
  • Released: 2014
  • Format: CD and Digital
  • Label: Coverville Records (2014)
  • Producer: Brian Ibbott, Andrew Allen, 
  • Singles: “Batman: Adam West Theme”, “Iron Man: Main Theme”

"Free Play: A Video Game Jazz Tribute"
  • Released: 2013
  • Format: CD and Digital
  • Label: Coverville Records (2013)
  • Producer: Brian Ibbott, Andrew Allen 
  • Singles: “Super Mario: Game Over Theme”, “Super Mario: Main Theme”

"Smooth Federation: A Star Trek Jazz Tribute"
  • Released: 2012
  • Format: CD and Digital
  • Label: Coverville Records (2012)
  • Producer: Brian Ibbott, Andrew Allen 
  • Singles: “Amok Time”, “TOS Theme”



The Andrew Allen Jazz Orckestra is an instrumental jazz ensemble that performs originals and covers of video game, movie, television, and pop culture hits. They combine Jazz sensibilities with Rock, HipHop, R&B, Funk, Blues, and Soul. The sound of The AAJO is a mixture of Snarky Puppy and Miles Davis meets Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm. 

The Orckestra recently released their 4th album "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute". The album has been played on radio stations across the country, and is currently used on a few national online syndications (they were most recently featured in NPR's "TED Radio Hour" this December). The Andrew Allen Jazz Orckestra's music is also featured on a variety of podcasts that collectively have over 10,000,000 unique downloads per month. 

The Andrew Allen Jazz Orckestra is recommended if you like:

  • Snarky Puppy
  • Jonathan Coulton
  • Miles Davis
  • Paul and Storm
  • The Bad Plus
  • The Double Clicks
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith
  • Professor Shy Guy
  • The Jazz Messengers 

Band Members