Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics, and bonus track(s). Features original cover artwork. One of the few female pianists in 50s jazz – the great Terry Pollard, a player who's usually associated with the Detroit scene, but who works here in a hip west coast setting for Bethlehem Records! The date's got Terry's strong piano in a quintet – with Don Fagerquist on trumpet and Howard Roberts on guitar – both musicians who bring a strong sense of presence to the group passages on the date, but who are also more than willing to step aside and let Pollard really flourish on her solos during some of the album's trio tracks.
So busy was Allen Toussaint in the wake of his late-2000s revival, he didn't wind up entering a recording studio to begin work on a sequel to his 2009 jazz album, The Bright Mississippi, until 2013 (2013's Songbook consisted of live recordings from 2009). A few solo sessions happened that year, followed by a round with a band and guests in October 2015 and then he died a few weeks later, passing away in Madrid, Spain while on tour. Producer Joe Henry, who helmed The Bright Mississippi, pulled together American Tunes for a posthumous release in the summer of 2016. Tonally, American Tunes isn't much different from its predecessor, yet its elegiac elegance doesn't come from a place of despair: it's a wistful look back at his past and home.
There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington.