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Tag: Henry “Red” Allen

Monday, 3/5/12

Has there ever been a finer hour of jazz—of music—on TV?

The Sound of Jazz (CBS), 1957*

(A couple excerpts have been posted previously—here and here—but until the other day I’d never seen the whole show.)

*With Count Basie (piano), Thelonious Monk (piano), Billie Holiday (vocals), Jimmy Rushing (vocals), Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone), Ben Webster (tenor saxophone), Lester Young (tenor saxophone), Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone), Jimmy Giuffre (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Pee Wee Ellis (clarinet), Henry “Red” Allen (trumpet), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Vic Dickenson (trombone), Danny Barker (guitar), Freddie Green (guitar), Jim Hall (guitar), Milt Hinton (bass), Jo Jones (drums), et al.

Monday, 1/30/12

Henry “Red” Allen (trumpet), with Coleman Hawkins (tenor saxophone), Vic Dickenson (trombone), Pee Wee Russell (clarinet), Rex Stewart (cornet), Danny Barker (guitar), Nat Pierce (piano), Milt Hinton (bass), Papa Jo Jones (drums), “Wild Man Blues,” live (TV Broadcast, The Sound of Jazz), 1957

All-star jam sessions often fizzle. Not this one. What makes this so good? A lot of it, I think, has to do with saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, who takes the first solo after trumpeter Red Allen states the melody. Right from the beginning (1:27-) it’s apparent that Hawkins isn’t just going through the motions. He plays, throughout, with great concentration and conviction, not wasting a moment. This inspires everyone; you can see it in their faces (1:44-47, 1:55-58, 2:03-08, 2:39-44). He gives the others a lot to live up to—and they do.

(Yo, Randy—thanks for the tip!)

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