Allen Hoist is the working musician prototype, having done side gigs from everyone from Tito Puente to soul greats Sam & Dave. For the past fifteen years he’s resided in Paris, plying his skills on alto sax, soprano sax, and cello to whoever paid.
Hoist has made a name for himself supporting World Beat musicians. This influence can be heard on "Just Before Spring" on the rollicking "Caravan" where only the Latin beats of Orlando Poleo’s clave accompany Hoist’s Al Jarreau-influenced vocals.
Indeed, it is Hoist’s vocals that are the surprise hook of "Just Before Spring". He feels as comfortable singing with a trio, like wearing a favorite sweater. The music constantly shifts from the swinging Eddie Jefferson-style scat of the title track, to Hoist’s cello work on "’Ty’ Dyed", with its homage to Grapelli and Johnny Frigo, to the bright post-bop cover of Stevie Wonder’s "All I Do". Hoist references John Hendricks on "One For The Road", his band laying down a steady mid-tempo beat around Mario Canoge’s Cuban tinged piano playing.