Harry Allen (musician)

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Harry Allen
Harry Allen.jpg
Harry Allen in 2006
Background information
Born (1966-10-12) October 12, 1966 (age 51)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone
Labels Arbors, Mastermix
Website www.harryallenjazz.com
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[edit]

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[edit]

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]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Someone to Light Up My Life (Mastermix)
  • I Know That You Know (Mastermix)
  • A Little Touch of Harry (MasterMix, 1997)

With Bill Charlap Trio

  • Harry Allen Plays Ellington Songs (RCA Victor, 2000)

With Tommy Flanagan Trio

  • Day Dream (BMG, 1998)

With Daryl Sherman

With Joe Cohn

  • Restless (Arbors)
  • Harry Allen–Joe Cohn Quartet with Rebecca Kilgore & Eddie Erickson: Guys and Dolls (Arbors )

With Jan Lundgren


  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