Henry "Red" Allen

Red Allen Plays King Oliver

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Red Allen's tribute to fellow Crescent City native King Oliver is a typical New Orleans jazz session, with plenty of freewheeling interplay. Joining the trumpeter are trombonist Herb Fleming, clarinetist Buster Bailey (like Allen, an alum of Oliver's band), bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Solomon Hall and pianist Bob Hammer. The music includes a mix of traditional favorites, including spirituals, blues and even a ringer from the swing era, "All of Me." Allen's sassy solo work is especially inspired in Oliver's "Canal Street Blues" and "Someday Sweetheart." His raspy tone in "Snowy Morning Blues," one of two tracks in which Sammy Price takes over at the piano, along with an impassioned "Yellow Dog Blues," are also among the album's highlights. Released by Verve in 1961, this long unavailable LP is worth tracking down.

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