155

Harry Allen: Jazz For The Heart: Ballads II

By

Sign in to view read count
Harry Allen: Jazz For The Heart: Ballads II File Under: Concentrate of Stan Getz (ballad division)!

Harry Allen is not exactly a new act. Yet, after some 26 albums under his own name and sideman dates on many others, the saxophonist is hardly a recognizable name to the general public. Too bad, since this recording is among his best and certainly most evocative of a protracted ballad session by Stan Getz. Thematically, the album is perfect for a romantic evening, covering a lengthy 72 minutes. My one reservation is that midway through the album, the Jimmy Forrest standard "Night Train" is played as a mid-tempo blues (as it should be) and damages the mood that the preceding tracks had established.

Harry Allen was a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey in 1989 with a music degree and found himself immersed in the New York recording scene with an unexpected opportunity to sit in for Zoot Sims at a session. He has been recording for independent labels like Nagel-Heyer, Progressive and Audiophile, and he's been an RCA recording artist for the past eight years. Now he primarily works within the Harry Allen and Joe Cohn Quartet, a group that was awarded the New York City Nightlife Award for Outstanding Jazz Combo in January, 2006.

Allen's latest release is a followup to last year's Jazz for the Soul and his musical colleagues here are truly veterans of the jazz scene: pianist John Bunch, guitarist Joe Cohn, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Chuck Riggs. The album is a tribute to the ballads of the Great American Songbook, with one Allen original included ("If There's A Sky Above"). Some of the titles include the Washington/Crosby/Young piece "I Don't Stand A Ghost of a Chance," Johnny Mercer/Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark" and Hilliard/Mann's "In The Wee Small Hours (Of The Morning)," featuring Joe Cohn's tasty inclusion of the rarely heard verse.

The above reference to Stan Getz is not meant in any way to imply that Allen's music is derivative. Rather, it is an affirmation of this artist's mastery of a style that has been recognized as a significant achievement. Hopefully, some of that will rub off, belatedly, on Allen's career.


Track Listing: I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance; Nancy (With the Laughing Face); September Song; I'm Confessin'(That I Love You); Mona Lisa; Skylark; Teach Me Tonight; Moonlight In Vermont; Night Train; If There's A Sky Above; You Go To My Head; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; In The Wee Small Hours (of the Morning); I'll Be Seeing You.

Personnel: Harry Allen: tenor saxophone; John Bunch: piano; Joe Cohn: guitar; Joel Forbes: bass; Chuck Riggs: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: McMahon Jazz Medicine | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music" CD/LP/Track Review X-Ray Search Light Project: Djuke Music
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Seasons 1-4 Live" CD/LP/Track Review Seasons 1-4 Live
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!