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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke


Ride, Red, Ride

HENRY 'RED' ALLEN

ASV Living Era CD AJA 5356

  1. Song of the Swanee
  2. Louisiana Swing
  3. Patrol Wagon Blues
  4. Queer Notions
  5. Nagasaki
  6. Wrappin' it up
  7. Minnie the Moochers Wedding Day
  8. Bugle Call rag
  9. Yellow Dog Blues
  10. Who Stole the Lock on the Hen House Door?
  11. Firebird
  12. How Come You do me Like you do?
  13. Jamaica Shout
  14. Heartache Blues
  15. Rug Cutter's Swing
  16. Body and Soul
  17. Algiers Stomp
  18. The Gold Digger's Song
  19. Ride, Red, Ride
  20. This is my Last Affair
  21. Swingin' at the Lido
  22. I'm On My Way From You
  23. Slippin' and Slidin'

As we have come to expect from this series, the remastering and restoration from the 78 RPM version is excellent and it enhances greatly the listening experience. I have commented before on the way the task of reviewing these CD's causes you to listen to things that in the normal course of events may have passed you by, frequently with enjoyable consequences! This record is a case in point; the tracks cover the period 1930 to 1946.

Red Allen was a contemporary of Louis Armstrong and the influence of 'Pops' can always be heard in his playing. He is a great deal more than an imitator and in his time was probably regarded as very modern in his approach. One key to the quality of a musician is the company he keeps, Coleman Hawkins is featured to a great extent on these tracks along with legendary Trombone player J C Higginbotham. On Body and Soul, a tune always associated with Hawkins; Chu Berry is on Tenor and Dickie Wells on Trombone, the vocal contribution by Allen himself. For me the tempo for this fabulous melody is a bit on the up side, but that is a matter of taste of course.

Billie Holiday sings This is my last Affair with Teddy Wilson on Piano, Cozy Cole on Drums and John Kirby on Bass, it is a classic Holiday track.

By 1946 Red was into what we would now call Mainstream in a big way and both the leader and Higginbotham acquit themselves well in this format, sounds a lot like 'Humphs' recent bands and none the worse for that.

The album is a good representation of an important contribution to jazz from a fine Trumpet player.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry



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