1. Always True to You in My Fashion
2. In a Mellow Tone
3. Happy Reunion
4. Silk Stockings
5. Purple Gazelle (Angelica)
6. How Long Has This Been Going On?
7. I Love You Samantha
8. Shall We Dance?
9. By Strauss
10. Love For Sale
11. They All Laughed
12. Who Cares? ( So Long As You Care For Me)
13. Mood Indigo
Harry Allen - Tenor sax
Ehud Asherie - Piano
Nicki Parrott - Bass, vocals
Chuck Redd - Drums, vibraphone
`Little Johnny' Rivero - Latin percussion ( Tracks 5, 10 and 13)
The sleeve-note writer explains that they decided not to call this CD, `For George, Duke and Cole', in case people expected that it was a tribute to the
late smooth jazz keyboardist, George Duke. I feel obliged to add that it is also not a tribute to the veteran actor so fondly remembered as Arthur Daley.
Evidently he isn't such a big noise across the pond.......
The Washington-born tenorist, Harry Allen, occupies a hinterland somewhere between Coleman Hawkins and Zoot Sims. Allen favours familiar tunes that easily
adapt to a straightforward, swinging format, so what better source of such material than three of the greatest composers of the twentieth-century. Most of
the tunes are very well-known - the exceptions being Happy Reunion, recorded by an Ellington small group in 1958, and Purple Gazelle,
first recorded by Ellington with John Coltrane in 1962 under the title `Angelica'. And it's worth mentioning that Shall We Dance? has not strayed
in from `The King and I' but is from the 1937 Astaire/Rogers film written by the Gershwins.
The opening track, Porter's Always True to You in My Fashion', sets the tone for the rest of the CD: Allen plays a straightforward statement of
the melody, pianist Asherie and bassist Parrott contribute brief solos, then Allen gets the feet really tapping with a few breezy choruses. It's hardly
cutting edge, but it's warm, it's accessible and it certainly swings.
is a delightful ballad with Allen sounding suitably Webster-ish as he explores the melody. Ehud Asherie adds some nice, Ellingtonian touches on piano.
Asherie, an Israeli who came to live in New York as a child, is an excellent accompanist for Allen - his playing is firmly in the swing style and he
contributes several witty solos on the recording.
Bassist Nicky Parrott also contributes some pleasant vocals on In a Mellow Tone, How Long Has This Been Going On and Mood Indigo, and
provides a solid rhythmic foundation with drummer Chuck Redd. The quartet expands to a quintet for three numbers where `Little Johnny' Rivero adds a Latin
beat to provide some contrast.
Fans of Harry Allen will know exactly what to expect and will not be disappointed.