Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

104

Scott Hamilton & Harry Allen: Heavy Juice

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Strangely enough, recordings pairing tenor players are not unusual. Sonny Rollins did it with John Coltrane on Tenor Madness ; more recently Joe Lovano with Joshua Redman on Tenor Legacy ; even Chris Potter did it with Joe Lovano on a few tracks on Vertigo. Why this particular variation of saxophone is more conducive to teaming up is a mystery, but it always seems to work. Now Scott Hamilton has come together with next generationer Harry Allen for Heavy Juice , an album that proves that even if you are rooted in the same place in history there can be differences.

That both Hamilton and Allen come from the Ben Webster school is unmistakable. But there are other shared roots, most notably those of Zoot Sims and Stan Getz, although Allen's velvety tone clearly shows more Getz than Hamilton's rougher edge. And so, while you can have two players coming from similar spaces, their playing can be discerned. But a common denominator with the two players is a predilection towards easy-going swing and a complete aversion to more modern extremes. These are two players who are clearly locked into a tradition and, therefore, don't break any new ground. But they share a firm understanding of blues, swing and bebop traditions, making this an engaging set that is as easy to take as a cool summer breeze.

On a programme that blends classic swing tunes like Benny Goodman's "If Dreams Come True" and Duke Ellington's "Warm Valley" with the bebop of Dizzy Gillespie's "Groovin' High" and "Ow!" Hamilton and Allen may come across as somewhat anachronistic, but that doesn't detract from the comfortable grooves and relaxed exchanges between these two players. Pianist John Bunch has the kind of history that makes him the perfect accompanist, having played with Benny Goodman and Woody Herman, not to mention another tenor pairing, that of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. Bassist Dennis Irwin, comfortable in styles as wide-ranging as the hard bop of Art Blakey and the more modern post bop of John Scofield, anchors with ease, while drummer Chuck Riggs has a long history with Hamilton and demonstrates a subtle touch and light approach.

With an album that moves along with intention and a strong comfort level, Hamilton and Allen don't display the kind of fire of some other classic tenor pairings, including Rollins/Coltrane and Dexter Gordon/Gene Ammons. Still, with Heavy Juice they have made a recording where the friendship is clear. Rather than compete with each other they work together to inspire each other to greater heights, and there are many fine high points to be found.


Track Listing: Heavy Juice; Did You Call Her Today?; Groovin' High; If I Should Lose You; Blues Up and Down; If Dreams Come True; Warm Valley; Ow!

Personnel: Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone), 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 Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Open Book" CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Astrometrics" CD/LP/Track Review Astrometrics
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 13, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor