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The Big Man on Campus on the fifth recording by the University of Central Florida's dexterous Flying Horse Big Band is composer / arranger / tenor saxophonist Harry Allen who wrote and arranged five of the album's eleven numbers and solos brightly on seven including Henry Mancini's amiable "Dreamsville," Billy Strayhorn's happy-go-lucky "Raincheck" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's amorous "Triste."
The band's music director, Jeff Rupert, composed and arranged the shuffling "B.M.O.C." and picturesque "New Creole Love Call," Michael Philip Mossman the invigorating "Partido Blue." Completing the program is Alan Hawkshaw's gritty "Move, Move, Move" (underlined by Mudel Honore's dancing Hammond organ). Allen's "Can You Love Once More?" sways to a charming Latin beat, as do "Triste" and "Partido Blue" (the last taken at a moderately faster tempo complete with whistle and other sound effects). Allen also wrote and arranged the lyrical waltz "June Song," the jaunty "This Is My Lucky Day" (not the standard of the same name)," the aptly named "Lonely Breeze" and "The One for You," which scurries breezily along, Basie style, with Honore's organ once again setting the pace.
Besides Allen, soloists of note include trumpeters Alex Lewis (flugelhorn on "Creole Love Call") and Josh Toler, alto Josh Stribling, tenors Andy Garcia and Gabriel Wallace, trombonists Lentzy Jean-Louis and Christian Herrera (both on "Raincheck") and guitarist Ryan Waszmer. Rupert made sure the FHBB was well-rehearsed and ready to soar, and there are no audible missteps to report (bassist Luther Burke is outstanding on "Raincheck"). Those who have heard Allen before will know pretty much what to expect from that precinct, as he is one of the Big Three among American neo-swing saxophonists alongside Scott Hamilton and Ken Peplowski. Eloquent and at ease in any context, Allen is especially captivating on "June Song," "Lucky Day" and "Raincheck."
Big Man or no, the UCF campus was rocking when Harry Allen came to town, a notion that is clearly affirmed by this splendid recording. Kudos to everyone involved.
Track Listing: Dreamsville; June Song; This Is My Lucky Day; B.M.O.C.; Can You Love Once More?; A Lonely Breeze; Triste; Partido Blue; Move, Move, Move; The One for You; Raincheck; The New Creole Love Call.
Personnel: Jeff Rupert: director, tenor sax, shaker (1, 7); Alex Lewis: trumpet, flugelhorn; Marco Rivera: trumpet; Josh Toler: trumpet; Courtney Normandin: trumpet; Luke Stribling: alto sax; Andy Garcia: alto, tenor sax; Gabriel Wallace: tenor sax; Melanie Castro: tenor sax, clarinet; Saul Dautch: baritone sax; Matt Kerr: trombone, bass trombone; Ryan Flint: trombone; Lentzy Jean-Louis: trombone; Christian Herrera: trombone; Mudel Honore: piano, organ; Ryan Waszmer: guitar; Luther Burke: acoustic, electric bass; Steve Estes: drums, percussion. Special guests – Harry Allen: tenor saxophone (1-3, 5-7, 11); Jeff Moore: percussion (5-9).
I love jazz because when I was a kid pop music was bland, plain, uneventful until one day I heard a tune on a juke box entitled Jump Red Jump By Tenor Saxophonist Red Prysock brother of Arthur Prysock
I love jazz because when I was a kid pop music was bland, plain, uneventful until one day I heard a tune on a juke box entitled Jump Red Jump By Tenor Saxophonist Red Prysock brother of Arthur Prysock. It was love at first sight . This was when Blues, Soul / Gospel Style Music was becoming popular amongst kids as well as hip adults and featured Ray Charles, Big Joe Turner and The Payola era DJ's such as Alan Freed. Not many people remember that Freed's Rock n Roll Band of the 1950's was The Count Basie Orchestra featuring the Guy Singer Tony Bennett (Anthony DiBenedetto) who grew up in Astoria, NYNY right next to my Home Town Jackson Heights NYNY.
I was first exposed to jazz when I heard Red Prysock, Sam The Man Taylor & groups like the Chord Cats recording of Shaboom! It made the Crew Cuts look LAME! Now Jazz, Blues, Soul, Gospel was pretty much joined at the hip back then and I learned that the tasteful Music was featured on The African American Radio Stations which led me to DJ's Like The Bruce, Jocko Henderson, Tommy Dr. Jive Smalls and eventually Symphony Sid Torin, China Valles and Len Pace. This all took place during my high school years and the following years in NYNY and South Florida. I actually flew to Copenhagen Denmark in 1961 to see Stan Getz, (One of my top 3 heroes in the Music Bird, Pres & Getz not necessarily in that order). Sadly Getz had already left town and snuck back into NYNY where he played Birdland (Undoubtedly without a cabaret card due to smack addiction.) No problem for me as I worked for Pan American Airways at the time and enjoyed a 90% Employee Discount.
I met Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Warne Marsh, Lenny Tristano, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Dr. Lonnie Smith, among many others over the years.
The best show I ever attended was The Randall's Island Jazz Festival NYNY 1960. Monk & Edward Ellington Kennedy AKA Duke, starred among numerous others. I can not recall the entire Line Up but Monk brought along his Hat Collection which at the time contained I believe he told me 33 or 35 international Hats which he periodically changed often during his Solos. I have been unable to find that roster for that particular festival and since it was long ago I remember mostly Monk & Duke. Paul Gonsalvas played his legendary trademark twenty something chorus solo in between Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue which was outstanding.
The first jazz record I bought was Firstly, my Bro George was / is a Marine and he sent home his wax collection of LP's from Camp Pendleton CA before deploying to Okinawa in 1956 I think. Bird, Getz, Mulligan & Baker, Erroll Garner, Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Jazz at Newport 1956 and many more. I fell in love with Bird, Getz and Jeru & Chet for openers. Pres to my mind takes the all time Tenor Award and Budo, Piano etc.! However I digress Getz Long Island Sound and every other Getz record that I could find that was 1957 by then and I snuck in to Birdland for the First of many times before I was 18 ( Legal drinking age back then) It wasn't until just after my 18th Birthday that I was carded much to the bouncers chagrin as he recognized me as having being an established customer by then.
My advice to new listeners: Listen to the Music and keep it in the forefront not the background. A Local Band Leader whose name escapes me once said to me Jerry you can make time for the chicks later the Music is in the now and is more important than chicks ever will be. He was correct!
Next see live performances and introduce yourself to the Players most of whom will be respectful. Some, however, are unapproachable such as when I saw Miles so many times but his obvious disdain for certain fans was evident and he always walked off the stage after soloing. (Eddie Jefferson sang words to So What that so indicated this)!