Henry "Red" Allen

The Very Great

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The valuable music on this now-rare European LP is well-deserving to be reissued on CD. Trumpeter Red Allen is heard on four numbers with his 1941 sextet (which also features trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, clarinetist Edmond Hall and pianist Ken Kersey) and on 12 heated jams with his band of 1944-46, an ensemble that found Higginbotham and the underrated altoist Don Stovall holding their own with Allen. The latter group combined the excitement and drive of R&B with the spontaneity and hot solos of Dixieland. "The Crawl" is a classic and several of the other performances are close behind. It's well worth the search.