The final of the five Classics CDs that document the early recordings of trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen covers music from three very different bands. Allen is first heard singing and playing trumpet on eight pop tunes he uplifts with a recording group in 1937 that features altoist Tab Smith. Allen also plays four Dixieland standards with a hot septet in 1940 that includes trombonist Benny Morton, clarinetist Edmond Hall and pianist Lil Armstrong. The final eight numbers (four of which were previously unreleased) showcases his regular band from 1941 (with trombonist J.C. Higginbottham and clarinetist Edmond Hall) really romping through some hard-swinging performances, including "K.K. Boogie" and a two-part version of "Sometimes I'm Happy." All five of these Classics CDs are easily recommended; this is one of the better ones.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow