Along with recently departed tenor saxophonist John Gilmore, altoist Marshall Allen was a mainstay in Sun Ra's groundbreaking Arkestra for nearly 40 years until the cosmic commander's passing in 1993. Allen's tenure with Sun Ra forced him to master the art of navigation through a seemingly impermeable morass of sound. At 72, the saxophonist can still lead the wiliest improvs. A versatile performer, he applies a spry, sometimes jumpy, always fervent technique to a gang of wind instruments from flute to oboe to outrageous homemade aerophones. This rare rock club performance (as “The Deep Space Posse”) unites one of the sole surviving original members of the Arkestra with latter-day Sun Ra trombonist Tyrone Hill and a rhythm section with the Bay Area's most ambitious avant-gardists.
— Sam Prestianni
Marshall Allen, Tyrone Hill, George Cremaschi (bass), Damon Smith (bass), and Garth Powell (drums) appear with openers Malcolm Mooney (from Can) and members of Pluto and MX-80 on Monday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St. Tickets are $7; call 621-4455.