Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Bill Allred: The New York Sessions

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

A sunny and swinging mood elevates The New York Sessions, which teams Bill Allred with his son and fellow trombonist John. Of course, you might surmise that joyful feel by glancing at the list of tunes performed by the Allreds and a cozy circle of friends, from the opener, “Lullaby of Broadway,” to the closer, “Sweet Sue-Just You.”

Interspersed are familiar ballads and blues that add to the album’s appeal. “Always,” fashioned for tandem trombones, sports a clever and challenging arrangement. “Davenport Blues” marks the first of two delightfully evocative cameos by cornet player Warren Vaché. And “This Can’t Be Love” ultimately inspires an after-hours smoker, prominently featuring Jeff Phillips on Hammond B3 organ, Howard Alden on guitar and Ed Metz on drums. There are genuine surprises-on “Muskrat Ramble,” Alden switches to banjo and John Allred plays tuba-and beauty in the details: On “Angel Eyes,” Bill Allred soulfully embellishes the melody over a Latin groove before Alden’s expert comping and fills give way to an elegant and similarly expressive solo.

The elder Allred also sings, but his vocals are no match for the music here-not even close. Still, he and bassist Nicki Parrott remind us of tunesmith Dave Frishberg’s droll wit when they playfully join voices on “I Want to Be a Sideman.” One suspects none of the musicians accompanying the Allreds on this relaxed session would have any trouble relating to Frishberg’s sentiment.

Originally Published