Harry Allen / Allan Vaché

Allan and Allen

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This studio session featuring clarinetist Allan Vache and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen together was a long overdue idea, since they had worked together frequently at jazz festivals and parties; they're joined by a first-class rhythm section of pianist Eddie Higgins, bassist Phil Flanigan, and drummer Eddie Metz. Most of the material consists of familiar standards from the swing era, including the easygoing "Jive at Five," a snappy "Tickle Toe," and a laid-back "Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me." Flanigan contributed the lively swinger "Allan and Allen," while Higgins wrote the pretty ballad "Lake Ponchartrain Blues." There are also separate features for the two reedmen: Vache's lush, lyrical interpretation of "You Go to My Head" is matched by Allen's gorgeous take of the infrequently heard ballad "Where Are You." Vache also adds a campy (though not exactly memorable) vocal on "Straighten up and Fly Right." This is one of many memorable recordings that has helped to elevate Nagel Heyer into one of the top labels covering mainstream jazz at the beginning of the 21st century.

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