Henry 'Red' Allen & Coleman Hawkins: S'Wonderful
Henry 'Red' Allen All Stars
World on a String (RCA Bluebird 2497)
Henry 'Red' Allen (trumpet), Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), J.C. Higginbotham (trombone), Buster Bailey (clarinet), Marty Napoleon (piano), Everett Barksdale (guitar), Lloyd Trotman (bass), Cozy Cole (drums).
Composed by George and Ira Gershwin.
Recorded: New York, March 27, 1957
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
Henry 'Red' Allen lets loose with a boisterous version of "S'Wonderful" that lives up to the exuberant proclamation of the song title. His accomplice Coleman Hawkins had dabbled in bebop during the preceding decade, but here returns to a premodern jazz setting -- a double helping of 1930s dancehall swing with a smidgen of New Orleans counterpoint thrown in for good measure. A sense of unbridled fun permeates the performance, and all the horn players are at top form. Cozy Cole's drumming is outstanding throughout, and he almost steals the show at the end.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia