The Harry Allen - Joe Cohn Quartet
Recording Date: 2004.08.28, 29
The first fact one needs to know about the Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet is that it is, as described in the liner notes, a "working band." This may sound like a negligible fact on Hey, Look Me Over, but it isn't. A number of famous combos in the history of jazz have only played together in the studio. Here, however, guitarist Cohn, tenor Allen, bassist Joel Forbes, and drummer Chuck Riggs have developed the synchronicity that only comes from performing together night after night. For Hey, Look Me Over, that equals an hour of lovely ensemble work highlighted by some well-wrought guitar and tenor workouts on a solid set list. The next thing one would want to know about the Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet is that they play traditional mainstream jazz with such pizzazz that one would never mistake it for regurgitated classics. With two or three exceptions, this is an upbeat, happening set, with vibrant versions of Charlie Christian-Benny Goodman's "Seven Come Eleven" and the title cut. "Seven Come Eleven," in particular, is a six-minute free-for-all, with superb back-and-forth exchanges between Cohn and Allen played against Forbes' busy bassline and Riggs' frantic backbeat. Hey, Look Me Over is the kind of tuneful, well-executed album that makes the listener feel good.
All Music Guide
The Harry Allen -Joe Cohn Quartet With Joel Forbes and Chuck Riggs: Hey, Look Me Over
"The Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet is a working band - and those are rare enough these days - of a very high caliber. There's really no substitute for a working band. Musicians who work together regularly develop a rapport that musicians who meet only in a recording studio are hard-pressed to match. And the rapport that Harry Allen and Joe Cohn have developed over the years is little short of amazing. It all comes together here - years of learning and growing, and developing something of their own - for Harry Allen and Joe Cohn, and Co."
From the album notes by Chip Deffaa, a longtime music critic and author of numerous books about jazz and pop culture.
Excerpted from the Album Notes for the Japanese Edition
Harry Allen is one of the most popular young jazz tenor players. In collaboration with BMG Funhouse and producer Ikuyoshi Hirakawa he has released many great recordings as a leader. Most of them received world -famous jazz magazine Swing Journal's Gold Disc Award, and all of them are still available and popular in Japan.
Japanese jazz lovers approve of the young man's tenor playing, with its deep tradition from Ben Webster, Stan Getz, Lester Young as well as other great musicians.
If there is still one more thing left to do for Harry and Ikuyoshi, it is a recording by Harry's regular quartet, without special members used just for the recording.
Makoto Gotoh, 2004
(Regular contributor to Jazzlife, CD Journal and Shukan Kinyobi)