Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Harry Allen - Part B

It was most fitting that the South County Jazz Club featured tenor saxophonist Harry Allen on Tuesday, March 15 at a free concert to thank members for their support over the past five years. Allen was the first big-name jazz artist presented in the club's inaugural season when he appeared with guitarist Nate Najar.
Allen, Kilgore

This latest event, held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Venice, featured Allen with his New York-based band (pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Kevin Kanner), plus singer Rebecca Kilgore as special guest. It was the final night of a five-concert Florida tour that included stops in Avon Park, Vero Beach, St. Petersburg and Port Charlotte.

The intimate 200-seat church enabled the band to play "unplugged" without any amplification other than Kilgore's vocal microphone. That added a rich warmth, particularly to the bass and Allen's tenor.

Kanner, Cunliffe, Forbes
Particular treats: Allen's romps with the rhythm section through "The Best Thing For You Would Be Me" and "Just One of Those Things," and Oregon-based Kilgore's interpretations of "The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else" and the little-heard Billie Holiday gem, "I Wished on the Moon." The latter tune contrasted nicely with the concert closer, "It's Only a Paper Moon."

This is a superb band. Unlike some touring groups, Allen's show did not repeat any tunes from the prior night's Charlotte County Jazz Society concert in nearby Port Charlotte. Amen to that.

Harry Allen, Kevin Kanner, Joel Forbes, Bill Cunliffe

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