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Harry Allen/Joe Temperley: Cocktails for Two

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Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen may have been born in the mid-1960s, but his atavistic jazz heart is in the 1950s. Stretch that decade a little on both sides to have what some critics and many older fans nostalgically recall as jazz’s golden age. It was the era that saw the emergence of both Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP), tours that combined musicians from swing and bebop in loose jamlike situations, and the LP, providing the longer recording format that could accommodate those types of extended performances on record. The LP also fostered theme albums, and a recurring jazz LP theme was music from a Broadway show.

Both of these CDs are patterned after such 1950s jazz album strategies. Cocktails for Two documents one of those JATP-style one-off meetings of musicians who don’t normally play together, captured at Sunnie Sutton’s Rocky Mountain Jazz Party, a smaller simulation of the JATP format. Music from Guys and Dolls presents a working jazz group doing a Broadway score, but with the added wrinkle of vocals by Rebecca Kilgore and Eddie Erickson.

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