94

Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen: Heavy Juice

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen: Heavy Juice Heavy Juice has been waiting to happen for twenty years. Back then, teenager Harry Allen, still in high school, joined Scott Hamilton on stage at the Newport Jazz Festival for a cameo performance with the George Wein-led Newport All-Stars. Allen spent his formative years growing up in Rhode Island, which also claims Hamilton as a native son. And Hamilton certainly was a role model as Allen blossomed then—and fast became a welcome young player on the New York swing jazz scene.

They've had occasional chances to collaborate on the bandstand. And now, Heavy Juice enables them to join a line of great tenor summit session pairings that through the years have included Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins, Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon, Ammons and Sonny Stitt, and Al Cohn and Zoot Sims.

This is a splendid session in which two good musical friends mine common musical ground with very similar sounds. Both favor a breathy, growling Webster tone at times. These days, Allen comes more out of a Stan Getz melodic bag, which Hamilton explored in an earlier phase. At times, when they're playing in unison or locked into the same tone, it helps to know that Hamilton is on the left stereo channel, Allen on the right.

The crack rhythm section provides a strong cushion, with John Bunch's dancing hands providing some elegant twists and turns at the piano. Nothing here disappoints, but their bop-meets-R&B take on "Blues Up and Down" by Ammons and Stitt ranks as my clear favorite. It's filled with an exuberant spirit of one-upmanship until they blend together for the final shout chorus. In contrast, the Duke Ellington ballad "Warm Valley" enables them to share a Websterish blend. From start to finish, through all eight tracks, this blend of Heavy Juice is very, very good.


Track Listing: 1 Heavy Juice 6:02 2 Did You Call Her Today? 6:55 3 Groovin' High 7:00 4 If I Should Lose You 6:45 5 Blues Up And Down 6:26 6 If Dreams Come True 8:29 7 Warm Valley 5:44 8 Ow! 9:06 Total playing time: 56:46

Personnel: Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen, tenor saxophone; John Bunch, piano; Dennis Irwin, bass; Chuck Riggs, drums.

Title: Heavy Juice | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Unfamiliar Surroundings" CD/LP/Track Review Unfamiliar Surroundings
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Mannequins" CD/LP/Track Review Mannequins
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "All Terrain Guitar" CD/LP/Track Review All Terrain Guitar
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 31, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.