Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ehud Asherie / Harry Allen Lower East Side Posi-Tone 2013

Posi-Tone has quickly become one of my two favorite straight ahead record labels due primarily to the consistency and high quality release their formidable stable of artists continue to churn out. Lower East Side which streets on 02/26/13 is no exception.

Now there are plenty of good piano/tenor saxophone releases to be found if one looks hard enough. The Stan Getz/Albert Dailey Blue Note release from 1983 ranks as perhaps the one of the two greatest of all time. Lower East Side may be the #2. While Getz and Dailey took a more familiar old school standard approach, Asherie and Allen hit some eclectic work perhaps long forgotten by some by such notables as Irving Berlin, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Richard Rogers for an incredibly invent riff on old school swing done with lyrical intensity and harmonic invention that creates yet another new or tweaked hybrid of soul and swing.

While Asherie's growth as an artist is unparalleled, both Asherie and Harry Allen often are over looked in the grand scheme of things and this release may well push them over the top. While the Jobim tune "Portrait In Black And White" may seem odd done as a tenor/piano duet, there is the Brazilian flavor Getz lovers know all to well and the intimacy that Asherie brings to the table seals the deal. Flavor, texture and Asherie's mastery of his own harmonic vision make this tune a highlight of the release. "Hey There" (Adler/Ross) is another relaxed and soulful standard not often performed or recorded as of late. A slight articulated pop of vitality creates a reharm that highlights the artists while respecting the original. "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" has Allen's trademark soulful approach and style that can make any tune sound like a standard.

Technically this is an Ehud Asherie recording however the chemistry between Asherie and Allen is undeniable. Twin sons of different mothers allow for a musical cohesion and harmonic direction that is sublime in presentation. There are other piano/tenor duets that can play the notes but they can not make the music. Asherie and Allen simply don't have that problem.

One of the best for 2013

Tracks: S'posin; Hallelujah; Portrait In Black And White; Hey There; Thou Swell; Some Other Time; Thanks A Million; 'Deed I Do; Loads Of Love; Always; When I Grow Too Old To Dream.

Ehud Asherie: piano
Harry Allen: tenor saxophone.