Steve Allen

Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight

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One of Steve Allen's last jazz recordings was made in 1992, some eight years prior to his death on October 30, 2000. Allen's piano playing was only one of the many talents that he shared with his audiences over his decades-long career, but he never made a big deal about his playing; it was just another way of entertaining. On this date he is the de facto leader of a group coordinated by drummer Frank Capp, which also includes guitarist Howard Alden, tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Peplowski, trumpeter Glenn Zottola, and bassist Chuck Berghofer. Clearly, the musicians are having fun in this swing-filled atmosphere. The solos are spread around fairly evenly among Allen, Alden, Peplowski, and Zottola in a program that sticks primarily to standards such as "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else," "After You've Gone," "Gone With the Wind," and "I Can't Get Started." Four Allen compositions are also covered and, although none of them are among his best-known works, "Steve's Blues" features the best all-around solos of the sessions. This Steve Allen jazz release is clearly his finest effort.

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