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Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen: Heavy Juice

Tenorist Scott Hamilton has achieved success with a mainstream blend of Ben Webster and Lester Young. Fellow tenor man Harry Allen shares many of the same influences, including a healthy dose of Stan Getz. And that makes them a particularly compatible two-tenor team in the mode of Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt and, especially, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. Their Heavy Juice (Concord) features an attractive program of straightahead blowing by two men who have total control of their instruments and of their chosen idiom. On tunes like the uptempo title track blues and the equally animated Ammons-Stitt “Blues Up and Down,” they play off each other with an easy familiarity, all the while creating swinging and inventive lines. Indeed, with the exception of Ellington’s classic ballad “Warm Valley,” their entire eight-track repertoire consists of medium-tempo or fast pieces, which include Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High” and “Ow!” Their solid rhythm section consists of pianist John Bunch, bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Chuck Riggs.

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