Rex Allen

Keep Swingin'

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A good swing trombonist, Rex Allen heads an octet for this live session for the German Nagel-Hayer label. Trombonist Dan Barrett sticks exclusively to trumpet and plays quite effectively; tenorman Harry Allen is a strong asset; Jim Rothermel switches between clarinet, alto and soprano; the rhythm section is comprised of guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Frank Tate and drummer Gregor Beck; and Terrie Richards contributes a few worthy vocals. Unlike most of the other releases from this label, many of the ensembles are arranged, but the music overall swings. The repertoire emphasizes 1930s/'40s swing-era songs, including "Back Bay Shuffle," "Opus One," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and a Duke Ellington medley, with the proceedings concluding with "Flying Home."

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