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Harry Allen Plays Ellington Songs


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Audio CD, April 4, 2000
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1. C-Jam Blues
2. Solitude
3. Mood Indigo
4. It Don't Mean A Thing
5. Lush Life
6. Just Squeeze Me
7. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
8. Caravan
9. Take The 'A' Train
10. Cotton Tail
11. Sophisticated Lady

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 4, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: April 4, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Do Not Use
  • ASIN: B00004S7JF
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,547 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Biography

Outstanding - Leonard Feather

Sheer Excellence - Gene Lees

Harry Allen's playing is nothing less than perfect - John Pizzarelli

Gene Lees writes, "Stan Getz was once asked his idea of the perfect tenor saxophone soloist. His answer was, 'My technique, Al Cohn's ideas, and Zoot's time.' The fulfillment of that ideal may well be embodied in ... Read more in Amazon's Harry Allen Store

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. LaRue on November 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There is a very short list of tenor players everybody likes: Stan Getz, Lester Young, Ben Webster--maybe Dexter Gordon--players who are so lyrical and so sweet, they are irresistable.
The list just got a little longer when Harry Allen joined it.
When I first heard him on the radio, I thought of all those previously mentioned luminaries, though I was pretty sure it wasn't any of them. But who plays sax like that anymore? All the young turks are hard boppers tring to out play Stitt or "pushing the envelope" to outdo Trane.
Not Harry; he just sings. He can play fast, and seems to be more than happy to do so; but Like Getz before him, fast doesn't mean noisy or loud--just swinging with the same lyricism as those slow ballads.
And what ballads! Coltrane said of Getz: "We'd all play like Stan...if we could." And I know Trane meant, "play with that beautiful tone and expression."
No doubt there are a lot of players thinking the same thing about Allen. His slow numbers mezmerize with their fluid, honeyed grace, thier absolute fitness. He likes to stay near the melody--another style seldom herad these days--but even as he drifts off into new melodic patterns, you can still recognize the changes, the phrasings, and the turnarounds; yet he never sounds repetitive or boring.
The rhythm section is firm, a very nice setting for his jewel like playing.
If I have one gripe it's--not enough ballads.
But I'm buying all his records.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "Big Band" John on October 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I admit my bias towards Harry. I think he's one of the best if not the best tenor sax player out there bar none. However, this album doesn't really do it for me. I love Ellington, and Harry is great, but somewhere, the two just don't meet perfectly for me on this album. Harry put's in a solid performance backed by a good band, but to me, it's not quite Harry's best work.
I think perhaps my reason is that I am such a fan of Ellington's music as well, the style used in this album is more unique and off in it's own direction. It could be my pre-determined notion of how the songs should sound that may be distracting me. That's why I give this album such a high rating. Musically, the album is great. Just be prepared for a somewhat different interpretation of the music.
Some of the songs are great as is. For example, I think he does a great job with "C Jam Blues" and "It Don't Mean A Thing".
If you are new to Harry, I would probably suggest other of his albums above this, especially his album with the John Pizzarelli Trio. Still, it doesn't hurt to preview these track, If you enjoy the samples here, you definitely will love the album.
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By Bomojaz on February 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in 1999, Harry and the Bill Charlap trio do a good job with these Ellington tunes. There are no real surprises--even the tune selection shows not much of an interest in delving beneath the surface of Ellington's repertoire--but Harry seems incapable of disappointing. Harry plays well and his confidence and maturity increase with each new CD. Recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Katz on September 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Look it's hard top screw up an all Ellington CD.But knock on both Allen is and Charlap is (and say sometimes compatriot Pizzarelli the younger) is that they play cocktail style.Allen is great when he plays in his Getz mode in Latin setting but his choice of trad settings that Prez,Sims,Cohn et el would burn through he just sometimes is lack luster.Charlap is often to laid back.But I hold this up (and his expensive Japan efforts of late) as that they can swing.Especially Charlap who digs and serves up the demanded dynamics that many of his other efforts lack.If I could I would have given 4 and half.But touch to screw up Ellington (see Wynton and Lincoln Center Jazz orchestra "Live At Swing City" which is GREAT") but they actually perform better than expected if you have bought other CD's by either main players.
Chazz
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3 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have many jazz cds which makes it real easy to compare. This cd came up short in this comparison.
Let me try to explain! This song selection was fair. Where the real problem came up was with the band. It appears that the decision was made to put the emphasis on improvising. This was the whole focus of this project. I would have preferred a little more melodic sound. I am a fan of the mellow tones that a lot of artist use.
This cd may be right or wrong for you. You will have to make your own call!
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