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Ehud Asherie with Harry Allen: Upper West Side

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "My Blue Heaven"

Wherever tenor saxophonist Harry Allen shows up, there is sure to be a major outbreak of Old School. Along with Scott Hamilton, Allen is a keeper of the flame encompassing saxophone practice from Frankie Trumbauer to Lester Young. Pianist Ehud Asherie is cut from the same bolt as Ralph Sutton and Dick Hyman. His previous Posi-Tone recordings, Look Out (2007), Modern Life (2010), and Organic (2010) all demonstrate that Asherie is well-schooled in stride and modern keyboard styles, as well as Chitlin' Circuit greasy organ jazz.

In combination with Allen, Asherie entertains his love of 1930s piano (Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson) and the songbook of that era. Here are two jazz historians, choosing a period and performing a chamber duet on the best material that period has to offer. The Donaldson/White standard, "My Blue Heaven," is just antique enough to have that attractive and rich attic smell without being passé. Asherie's left hand is sure; his right: rolling thunder. He solos with perfect confidence, mixing things up with modern touches as he goes. Allen adopts a bit of a Ben Webster rasp while skillfully demonstrating a style of saxophone playing from when tenor was king. Upper West Side is two superb musicians having one very fine afternoon...

Track Listing: Learnin' The Blues; It Had To Be You; O Pato; Our Love Is Here To Stay; Have You Met Miss Jones?; Passion Flower; I Want To Be Happy; Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams; I'm In The Mood For Love; Love Will Find A Way; My Blue Heaven.

Personnel: Ehud Asherie: piano; Harry Allen: tenor saxophone.

Title: Upper West Side | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records


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