Seventy years after the Four Brothers made their mark on big band jazz, Harry Allen is having great fun keeping the format and its spirit alive. In October 2016, he recorded a Four-Brothers-style project, The Candymen (Arbors) with his All Star New York Saxophone Band. Allen made the recording with tenorists Eric Alexander and Grant Stewart and baritone player Gary Smulyan.
Allen brought that sound and energy to Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus on Sunday, April 7 for a Tampa Jazz Club concert billed as The Four Others. It teamed Allen with fellow tenorists Lew Del Gatto and Jeff Rupert, as well as baritone saxophonist Saul Dautch. Pianist Richard Drexler, bassist Don Mopsick and drummer Eddie Metz Jr. were the afternoon's ace rhythm section.
|Eddie Metz Jr.|
It was an afternoon of hard-driving swing, propelled by Metz's powerhouse drumming, an infectious groove and an array of saxophone textures that fit together as the players added their own musical personalities.
|Rupert, Del Gatto, Allen, Mopsick, Dautch|
It also showcased Allen's skill as an arranger and composer. He was best known early in his career is a purveyor of the great swing tenor sound - an amalgam at times from torchbearers like Getz, Ben Webster and Lester Young. Now he loves to share his own fine compositions. On this day, they included "The One For You," the frisky "Blues in the Morning," "So There" and "I Can See Forever."
|Rupert, Del Gatto|
"The Red Door," which may have been named after a jam session joint where Sims hung out when he first arrived in New York, was a searing bop feature for the band. Without a doubt, this was one of the most memorable concerts I've heard this year.
|The Four Others|