Henry 'Red' Allen: It Should Be You


It Should Be You


Henry 'Red' Allen (trumpet)


Henry Red Allen and His New York Orchestra: 1929-1930 (JSP 3403)

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Henry 'Red' Allen (trumpet), J.C. Higginbotham (trombone), Albert Nicholas (clarinet), Charlie Holmes (alto sax), Teddy Hill (tenor sax), Luis Russell (piano), Will Johnson (banjo), Pops Foster (bass), Paul Barbarin (drums).

Recorded: New York, July 16, 1929


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

After a brief cadenza, Allen launches into the first chorus of this 32-bar original (no bridge) accompanied by a righteous-sounding ensemble that evokes a gospel choir. Anchored by Foster’s booming bass and Barabarin’s sly drumming (accenting at delightfully unexpected moments), this performance imparts a “rolling” ensemble sound reminiscent perhaps of Louis Armstrong’s recording of “Mahogany Hall Stomp.” Higginbotham tackles the brisk 230 beats per minute with fire, articulating on the trombone as no other–fast and loudly without blasting. Allen presages bebop using frequent and deliberate “off-chord” tones, suggesting alternative harmonies. Also “modern” are his rhythmic alterations, particularly a dazzling episode of syncopation towards the end of his second solo. The unrelenting energy typical of this band and of this performance was well summed by Pops Foster: “We really had a romping band.”

Reviewer: David Sager

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