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Henry “Red” Allen

Among the last fun new Orleans trumpeters to emerge through the post-Louis Armstrong period, Henry “Crimson” Allen is definitely overshadowed by Satch and his successors but actually had a brand new new strategy of his own to provide. Allen sounded contemporary no real matter what the placing as well as the rhythmic independence he achieved produced his solos regularly unpredictable and thrilling. The boy of Henry Allen, Sr. (a well-known New Orleans brass music group head), he discovered trumpet in early stages and performed in his father’s parade music group and also other regional groups. After focusing on the riverboats with Destiny Marable and Excess fat Pichon the next year, Allen became a member of Ruler Oliver in Chicago. He documented in NY with Oliver and Clarence Williams, and Red Allen became a member of Luis Russell’s outstanding orchestra and started his own single recording career. Authorized by Victor instead of Okeh’s Louis Armstrong, Allen’s solos had been original and amazing right away (especially “IT OUGHT TO BE You”); through the entire 1930s his trumpet and gruff vocals will be noticed on a large number of recordings and, even though the materials was indifferent, Allen was generally in a position to uplift the music. After significant stints with Luis Russell (1929-1932), Fletcher Henderson (1933-1934), as well as the Mills Blue Tempo Music group (1934-1937), Allen became section of Louis Armstrong’s backup music group for 3 years, protected but somewhat private work. However, beginning in 1940, Crimson Allen led some impressive combos which were Dixieland-based but additionally open to particular aspects of tempo & blues. Trombonist J.C. Higginbotham (a lifelong friend) and altoist Dan Stovall had been on a lot of his recordings. From 1954-1965, Allen’s regularly riotous group performed frequently at New York’s Metropole (Coleman Hawkins was sometimes among his sidemen), he frequented Europe many times (including in 1959 with Child Ory’s music group), and Allen was probably one of the most memorable individuals in the Dec 1957 CBS Television special The Audio of Jazz. Crimson Allen remained extremely active until his loss of life, and in the 1960s was proclaimed by Don Ellis as “probably the most innovative and avant-garde trumpeter in NY.” The Western Classics label files his recordings from the 1930s, and several (however, not all) of his later on performances will also be available on Compact disc.

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