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Stompin the Blues by Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet

The Harry Allen - Joe Cohn Quartet 2004 Arbors release Hey, Look Me Over had me absolutely convinced that I had heard the ultimate in small group swing. Swing and intuitive communication appear as natural to them as breathing. However, on the newly-issued Stompin' the Blues Harry Allen, Joe Cohn, Joel Forbes and Chuck Riggs perform at another level and have augmented their band with Scott Hamilton and John Allred. These kindred spirits are a perfect fit for this program of swingers, standards and Allen originals.

The twin tenor masters, Hamilton and Allen, appear together on three tracks, the up tempo "You're Driving Me Crazy" and " (I would Do) Anythng For You" plus the ballad "My Old Flame." Their back-and-forth conjures up Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. Here and elsewhere you will also come across Lester Young, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster while Joe Cohn's guitar contribution on "My Old Flame"is a lesson in sensitive comping.

Allen has a knack for picking tunes and writing originals. His "Stomping the Blues" originated with an intro he wrote for "Savoy." There are plenty of solo opportunities on " So There." Allred's agility on bone is apparent as he and Allen engage in heated counterpoint on the intricate "Don't Want To Have To" and his extroverted sound is in evidence on "But I Will."

There's also a light and easy "I'll Get By" with a delightful Cohn solo, an " I Only Have Eyes for You" that will have you dancing and a spring medley that allows both Allen and Allred to display their way with ballads.

Superior musicianship and chemistry by the quartet and guests as they swing hard and play with feeling. Listeners should be grateful to Arbors Jazz for helping to keep this wonderful music alive.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet
  • CD Title: Stompin the Blues
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: Arbors
  • Rating: Five Stars
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