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Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Lower East Side (2013)

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Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Lower East Side How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

In this day and age, when shock-and-awe maneuvers and new-thing sounds tend to get all the plaudits and press in jazz, it says a lot when a throwback duo date is widely admired by critics and fans alike. Such was the case with pianist Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
Ehud Asherie
b.1979
piano
's Upper West Side (Posi-Tone, 2012), which brought him into contact with like-minded saxophonist Harry Allen
Harry Allen
Harry Allen
b.1966
saxophone
and presented a program of old chestnuts that were revived by their expert hands. Now, a year after that album first appeared in the marketplace, its companion piece has come to light.

Upper West Side and the newly minted Lower East Side were both recorded during one hell of a magical session in the fall of 2009 and, while it's impossible for an outsider to know whether specific songs were earmarked for specific albums at that point in time, it's easy to theorize that they were; both albums are cut from the same cloth, but they aren't the same. Asherie is a bit more extroverted on Lower East Side, as he dons his Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
cap and conjures the spirit of Willie "The Lion" Smith
Willie
Willie "The Lion" Smith
1897 - 1973
piano
. Allen also plays things a bit hotter on this second go round. He still delivers that melt-your-soul tone time and again, but he's also a bit more boisterous in places.

The usual suspects, like Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
1918 - 1990
composer/conductor
, all show up to the party at one time or another, but it's the unlikely appearance of Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antonio Carlos Jobim
1927 - 1994
piano
that proves to be most interesting. When they take on his "Portrait In Black And White," Asherie and Allen briefly visit another place, where Brazilian music is glazed over with an Argentine sealant and left to dry in the warm and intoxicating air of night. This one serves as a little reminder that these guys aren't simply period piece players; sure, they can evoke memories of long gone days, but they're also full of surprises.

Track Listing: S'posin'; Hallelujah!; Portrait In Black And White; Hey There; Thou Swell; Some Other Time; Thanks A Million; 'Deed I Do; Loads Of Love; Always; When I Grow Too Old To Dream.

Personnel: Ehud Asherie: piano; Harry Allen: tenor saxophone.

Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


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