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CD/LP/Track Review

Harry Allen / Scott Hamilton: ‘Round Midnight (2013)

By Published: January 19, 2013
Harry Allen / Scott Hamilton: âRound Midnight Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton
b.1954
sax, tenor
are two veteran tenor saxophonists whose individual careers have not prevented them from maintaining a friendship or performing together whenever possible. Their third joint project, Round Midnight presents new interpretations of nine standards in a quintet format offering far more solos than normally found in a group featuring one main artist. Their pairing is reminiscent of the great tenor team of Al Cohn
Al Cohn
Al Cohn
1925 - 1988
sax, tenor
and Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
Zoot Sims
1925 - 1985
sax, tenor
, and builds on the foundation of other such bands from the past like that of the Gene Ammons
Gene Ammons
Gene Ammons
1925 - 1974
sax, tenor
and Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
Sonny Stitt
1924 - 1982
saxophone
and the Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
Eddie
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
1922 - 1986
sax, tenor
and Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin
1928 - 2008
sax, tenor
quintets.

Leading off with the 1912 composition "My Melancholy Baby," the two tenors establish themselves with predictable smooth play, ably engaged by a superb rhythm section that prominently features pianist Rossano Sportiello
Rossano Sportiello
b.1974
piano
. Allen's "Great Scott," whether a tribute to Hamilton or not, is certainly the disc's first lively spot, offering plenty of saxophone fireworks as well as steady and solid backup from drummer Chuck Riggs
Chuck Riggs
Chuck Riggs
b.1951
drums
. "The Opener" begins with a terrific saxophone harmony and features bassist Joel Forbes's solid ,heavy chords.

The centerpiece of the album, the great bossa nova standard "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," provides both saxophonists solo opportunities that turn out to be the recording's highlight. After discussing their wish to perform "Lockjaw" Davis' "Hey Lock" for years, the duo finally records it here as an enjoyable mid-tempo romp. Rodgers and Hart's "Lover" and Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
Neal Hefti
1922 - 2008
trumpet
's "Flight of the Foo Birds" definitely lend some bopping moments to the date.

The two saxophonists cap off what is, in general, an invigorating session of jazz with pianist Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
' oft-recorded title track, closing a session of invigorating music with one last tender moment. On Round Midnight, this dynamic duo leads a very vibrant group in performing its best impressions of the twin-tenor quintets of years past, successfully adding Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton to that prestigious list of jazz ensembles.


Track Listing: My Melancholy Baby; Great Scott; How Am I To Know; The Opener; Baubles, Bangles and Beads; Hey Lock; Lover; Flight Of The Foo Birds; 'Round Midnight.

Personnel: Harry Allen: tenor saxophone; Scott Hamilton: tenor saxophone; Rossano Sportiello: piano; Joel Forbes: bass; Chuck Riggs: drums.

Record Label: Challenge Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream



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