Gene Allen is a name that tends to appear on liner note credits whenever a high class jazz artist puts together a big-band project. He was a superb technician on two extremely difficult instruments, the clarinet and bass clarinet, and also frequently recorded on baritone sax as well. His most famous recordings are under the direction of fellow baritone player, composer, and bandleader Gerry Mulligan, and in the haphazard, under-prepared but still highly enjoyable big-band sessions and concerts of piano mastermind Thelonious Monk. Allen was also part of the crew that worked in the Sauter-Finegan combo, a '50s jazz group whose unusual music were rediscovered by the '90s exotica crowd. That's a development that brings Allen, born Eugene Sufana, back full-circle to his musical beginnings. His first professional job of any account was with ...
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