Arranger/Composer/Valve Trombonist Phil Allen is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. His musical studies started with piano at 7 then trumpet at 10. His trumpet teacher (and later, arranging teacher) was Jim Edison, one of the very best lead trumpeters in the Midwest as well as a fine arranger and band leader. After a brief time at Hanover College, Indiana University and Indiana Central College (now University of Indianapolis; it was here that valve trombone became his primary instrument) majoring in music education, Phil left school and studied piano and theory with Steve Allee, composition and arranging with Alan Foust and Jazz Improvisation with Alan Kiger.In the 70's and 80's Phil played with and wrote for the Von Ohlen/Allee Big Band. This was also a time of free lancing as valve trombonist and pianist throughout central Indiana and leading his own groups. "The time with John (Von Ohlen) and Steve (Allee) was better than going to school. It was on-the-job-training, learning from some of the finest musicians around."
In 1996 Phil moved to the San Francisco Bay area. During his time there he played with and wrote for the College of San Mateo Monday Night Band; the Interplay Trio as well as serving on the worship team at 1st Presbyterian Church San Mateo. While at 1st Pres. he wrote special arrangements for many services including 2 Gospel concerts that featured the choirs of 1st Pres. and Trinity Presbyterian Church. In 2000 he wrote and produced (with Paul Irwin and Fil Lorenz) the CD Downbeat 9:30 by the Collective West Jazz Orchestra.
2008 was the year that Phil and his wife Barbara moved from California to Colorado Springs, CO. While in the Springs he started the band Thin Air Jazz, a 12 piece big band featuring some of the finest musicians in southern Colorado. In 2012 Thin Air recorded the CD "Sneakin' Up On Spring" which is entirely made up of original compositions. (For more on the CD and charts go to the Audio Page and the Store.) Thin Air also did 3 concerts with trumpeter Bobby Shew which featured special arrangements, by Phil, of Bobby's original songs. Along with Thin Air, there were performances with the Needlewood Orchestra led by composer/guitarist Tom Taylor, the duo with Tom called Bonestrings and the Bud Gordon 6-tet.
In May of 2014 came another relocation, this time to Rensselaer NY. Already some great musicians have been met and wonderful music has been played. Currently, Phil is part of the Blue Sky All-Stars and has performed with Skip Parsons Riverboat Jazz Band. "I'm looking forward to new music, new musician friends and working in new bands!"