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Hits By Brits by Harry Allen

Harry Allen is a hard blowing tenor saxophonist who, along with the equally impressive quartet that joins him on this disc, comes to impress. And he does so unequivocally. From the opening blowing session on Ray Noble’s classic "Cherokee" the pace is set. Here, Allen burns up the speakers, while guitarist Joe Cohn and trombonist John Allred trade fours with drummer Chuck Riggs over Joel Forbes muscular and steady bass.

Cohn and Allen chase each other through a medium tempo "Just In Time" with superb comping by the guitarist. Allred and Allen do the same on "I Hadn’t Anyone Till You." Allred shines on a lushly romantic "These Foolish Things," proving himself to be one of the most dynamic new trombonist to grace a sound studio in a long while. The guitar/tenor interplay on "Limehouse Blues" is explosive, propelled by bass and drums, and subdued on "The Very Thought Of You."

Allen is an inspiring player. The tenor on "You’re Blaze," for instance, is one of the most telling moments on the disc. Allen incorporates elements of Johnny Hodges and just dazzles. The same can be said for his gentle pace on "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," on which he invests as much emotion as can be heard on any cut on the disc. One of the finest tenor players on the scene, Allen has a winner in this wonderful collection.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Harry Allen
  • CD Title: Hits By Brits
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Challenge Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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