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Harry Allen (musician)

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Harry Allen
Harry Allen in 2006
Background information
Born (1966-10-12) October 12, 1966 (age 54)
LabelsArbors, Mastermix
Allen in Aarhus, Denmark, 2015
Allen in Aarhus, Denmark, 2015

Harry Allen (born October 12, 1966) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist born in Washington, D.C.[1] Early on he was recognized in high school as an exceptional talent able to play tunes such as Body and Soul in the style of tenor players Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Flip Phillips, and Sam Donahue.[2] He is a traditionalist in the manner of Scott Hamilton. He is best known for his work with John Colianni, Dori Caymmi, Keith Ingham, John Pizzarelli, and Bucky Pizzarelli.

Early life

Allen's father, Maurice, was a big band drummer.[3] As a child, his father played records for him; these included recordings of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves, which made a lasting impression.[3] Allen was also influenced when in high school by recordings of Scott Hamilton.[3] Allen graduated from Rutgers University in 1988.[3]

Critical acclaim

Allen has been identified as one of the "finest exponents of swing tenor alive today"[4] and described by C. Michael Bailey as "the 'Frank Sinatra' of the tenor saxophone: a master interpreter of standards".[5]


As leader

  • How Long Has This Been Going On? (Progressive, 1989)
  • I'll Never Be the Same (Master Mix, 1994)
  • Blue Skies: Jazz Ballads from the 1930s to Today (John Marks, 1994)
  • The Music of the Trumpet Kings with Randy Sandke (Nagel-Heyer, 1997)
  • Harry Allen Meets John Pizzarelli Trio (RCA, 1998)
  • Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won't Dance) (RCA Victor/BMG/Novus, 1998)
  • Harry Allen Plays Ellington Songs (RCA Victor, 2000)
  • Christmas in Swingtime (Koch, 2001)
  • The Harry Allen Quartet (2003)
  • Tenors Anyone? (Slider Music, 2004)
  • Heavy Juice with Scott Hamilton (Concord, 2004)
  • Jazz for the Soul (McMahon Jazz Medicine, 2005)
  • Barnestorming with Alan Barnes (Woodville, 2007)
  • New York State of Mind (Challenge, 2009)
  • When Larry Met Harry with Larry Goldings (Cafe Society, 2010)
  • The Harry Allen Quintet Plays Music from The Sound of Music (Arbors, 2011)
  • Live at Feinstein's at Loews Regency with Rebecca Kilgore (Arbors, 2011)
  • I Walk with Music: The Hoagy Carmichael Songbook with Rossano Sportiello, Joel Forbes (Gac, 2013)
  • For George, Cole and Duke with Ehud Asherie, Nicki Parrott, Chuck Redd (Blue Heron, 2014)
  • Something about Jobim with Joyce, Tutty Moreno, &c (Stunt, 2015)
  • Live with Scott Hamilton (Gac, 2016)
  • The Candy Men (Arbors, 2016)
  • Can You Love Me Once More with Judy Carmichael (Gac, 2016)


  1. ^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  2. ^ Harry Allen, Body and Soul on the album Coast to Coast, 1983/84 McDonald's All-American High School Jazz Band, McDonald's MDC 91884, 1984
  3. ^ a b c d Dryden, Ken (July 2015) "Harry Allen". The New York Jazz Record. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Scott Hamilton & Harry Allen, Heavy Juice" The Observer (London), 2004
  5. ^ "C. Michael Bailey quoted" Topeka Capital-Journal, 2008

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