Harry Allen

Celebration of Billy Strayhorn's Music, Vol. 1

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Billy Strayhorn's impressive work as a composer was often overshadowed by that of Duke Ellington. On two CDs, pianist Keith Ingham (who provided the arrangements), promising young tenor Harry Allen, guitarist Chris Flory, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Chuck Riggs perform 32 Strayhorn originals, including 16 on this first disc. In addition to such well-known pieces as "Satin Doll," "Take the 'A' Train" and "Daydream," the musicians (who are heard in a variety of combinations) also revive such rarely performed tunes as "Violet Blue," "Smada," "Noir Blue" and "Newport Up." Both of these well-conceived releases are easily recommended.

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