Harry Allen: I Didn't Know What Time It Was


I Didn't Know What Time It Was


Harry Allen (tenor sax)


Blue Skies (John Marks Records JMR 9)

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Harry Allen (tenor sax), John Bunch (piano), Dennis Irwin (bass),

Duffy Jackson (drums)


Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart


Recorded: New York, May 13, 1994


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Harry Allen was born around the time John Coltrane gave up playing changes. But you would never guess it from listening to this artist, who seems to have bypassed all the post-WW II developments in jazz, instead delivering sweet and swinging solos that sound as though they are channeled straight out of a bygone era. But sax playing this solid is timeless. Allen has it all: a rich, multifaceted tone, clear and forceful ideas, and unflagging rhythmic drive. Above all, he brings great patience to this track, never overplaying. There is a certain approach to swing that, if you capture it just right, actually intensifies the energy when you play fewer notes. Allen has got that groove here, and it's a joy to hear him coast along the chords of this Rodgers & Hart standard.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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