Henry "Red" Allen

Live, 1965

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Although it does not say it anywhere on this 1999 CD, this live date by trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen was previously out as a very limited-edition Meritt LP in the 1970s called Remembering Red Allen 20 Years Later Volume Two. In his later years, Allen often performed in a quartet where he was the only horn player, and he had ample opportunity to really stretch out. He had become even more expressive than he had been earlier, and in 1965 was still at the peak of his powers. Joined by either Sammy Price or Lannie Scott on piano, bassist Benny Moten and drummer George Reed, Allen puts on a typical show here, playing Dixieland standards (such as "Mack the Knife," "Muskrat Ramble" and "Hello Dolly"), some swing tunes ("Lover Come Back to Me" and "Satin Doll"), recent pop ("Hello Dolly" and "Never on Sunday") and even his early song "Pleasin' Paul" (which is not taken too seriously). Allen occasionally sings in his eccentric manner, displays plenty of showmanship in his solos and, on the closing "New Orleans Medley," effectively pays tribute to his early days. A fine effort.

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