Thirty-year-old Tenor Saxophonist Harry Allen joins pianist Ehud Asherie on their newest release Upper West Side on Posi-Tone Records.
The recent release features Asherie’s piano and Allen’s tenor in a traditional jazz duo setting. The two traditionalists compliment each other on a slew of standards such as It Had to be You, Our Love is Here to Stay and Have You Met Miss Jones. Two of my favorites on Upper West Side are the fast paced romps I Want to Be Happy and My Blue Heaven.
Although the music of Asherie and Allen is new, it harkens back to a simpler time not found since the 1930s, 40s or 50s. Allen’s tenor saxophone is dark, lush and swings heavily. Allen’s sound and feel is not unlike that of Stan Getz, Al Cohn or even Zoot Sims. Asherie’s piano is crisp and jumping as demonstrated on his walking bass and stride piano heard on the aforementioned I Want to Be Happy.
Any listener need only listen to I’m in the Mood for Love to grasp the understanding and reverence Allen has for the old time saxophone players. There are no rough edges in his playing or delivery – just solid saxophone playing for pleasurable listening.
Ehud Asherie and Harry Allen have most decidedly not reinvented the wheel on Upper West Side. However, if you are a lover of traditional jazz and looking for well-known standards delivered with respect for their origins, this recording is for you!
You can check out Harry Allen on Posi-Tone Records.