Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Allen, Harry (Adams)

Allen, Harry (Adams) , tenor saxophone; b. Washington, DC, 12 October 1966. At age one, moved to Los Angeles, California. Started accordion lessons on 7th birthday. Switched to clarinet in 4th grade. Family moved to Burrillville, Rhode Island when Harry was 10 and in 7th grade. Switched to tenor sax at age 10 at the request of music teacher because the middle school stage band needed one. Studied tenor with Arthur Pelosi, a local sax star, for 6 months in 1978 until Art moved to Georgia to accept a long-term playing engagement.

His parents are Jacquelin and Maury Allen. Maury was a drummer, mostly in big bands. His sister, Sally Allen (McIntyre now), a year and 6 months older than Harry, started on accordion with Harry and added piano lessens after two years. Also played trumpet and French horn in middle and high schools. Played in family trio with Harry and their father until both children went off to college. At age seventeen he entered Rutgers University, where he soon began attracting attention for his soloing in the student jazz band. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1988. He currently resides in New York City.

Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and the Far East. He has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Kenny Barron, Herb Ellis, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache`, and has recorded with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanigan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crowe, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Golding, George Mraz, Jake Hanna and Al Foster, among others.

Harry is featured on several recordings of John Pizzarelli, including the sound track and a cameo appearance in the feature film, The Out Of Towners, starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. He has also done a series of commercials for ESPN witn Robert Goulet.

Three CDs have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan's Swing Journal Magazine, and his CD, "Tenors Anyone?" also won that country's New Star award. His recordings have consistently been on the top ten list of that magazine,s reader's poll and one, "I Won't Dance", was voted second for 'Album of the Year' in 1998.

Peter Vacher: It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing, in: Jazz Express (Feb.1992)
Dave Gelly: Harry Allen. It Just Comes Out This Way, in: Jazz. The Magazine (1993)
Martin Richards & Eddie Cook: Harry Allen, in: Jazz Journal (Nov.1993)
Horst Schade: Harry Allen. Gegen den Strom des Zeitgeistes, in: Jazz Podium(May 1994)

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