All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

219

Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen: Heavy Juice

Ken Franckling By

Sign in to view read count
This CD has been a recording waiting to happen for twenty years. Back then, highschooler Harry Allen joined Scott Hamilton on stage at the Newport Jazz Festival for a cameo performance with the George Wein-led Newport All-Stars. Allen grew 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: 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

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Music For Empty Halls" CD/LP/Track Review Music For Empty Halls
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Tasty Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review Tasty Tunes
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018