Allen Houser Sextet | Stolen Moments (ARS006)

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Hard Bop Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Stolen Moments (ARS006)

by Allen Houser Sextet

Hard Bop recorded live, no overdubbing. Feels like you are there in the audience at a 50's jazz club.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Stolen Moments
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14:32 $0.99
2. Dewey Square
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16:22 $0.99
3. The Chess Players
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15:07 $0.99
4. Kosovo
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11:03 $0.99
5. Minor Diversion
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12:36 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
The best jazz is recorded in a completely relaxed environment--- with no time constraints. In this congenial atmosphere, true improvising and the unexpected can take place. That's why most of my favorite records are "Live At The..." and why I am so happy with this offering.

This Sextet has been together for over three years. The Bobs - Balthis, Butta and Jones, were with me on my previous recording, The Allen Houser Sextet Live At The One Step Down (ARS005). George Hyde, who played with me for several years at Bertha's Restaurant in Baltimore, and Paul Hannah, are the new faces. What you will hear is the best of our music selected from over a dozen recording sessions.

Musicians and fans of live jazz have benefited from a parade of recording technology creations. (Up until the invention of the synthesizer, that is.) When the 33 1/3 LP replaced the 78-rpm record, it enabled jazz musicians to stretch out and play as if it were a live, nightclub performance. Kenny Dorham's Una Mas is a good example of this. The compact disc has doubled the playing time of many of the best LP's. Our hope is that you will enjoy these five jazz performances enough to imagine you are hearing the band in person.

Bob Jones recorded our sextet in Bob Balthis' basement. He used a 16 track digital audio workstation. The sextet was recorded in the same room, simultaneously on eight tracks. All the music is a "first take," with no overdubbing of any kind. Although the sound quality is incredible, this is a presentation of real jazz, not an engineer's sleight-of-hand attempt at perfection. It is the work of seasoned musicians in the honest process of improvising and swinging. These recordings capture the spontaneous qualities of musical imagination, which surprise you with a beauty unique to the tradition. To feel joyful and free is the message of jazz. The music that is jazz, regardless of era, has that spirit-groove. Without it, what's the point?

Stolen Moments is probably Oliver Nelson's best-known composition. Stephen David Geller, a writer-film maker, asked me to record this for his independent film, Mother's Little Helpers. I didn't really want to do it, because the original was definitive. But, he insisted. After hearing the recording, I was happy he did.

Dewey Square was written and recorded by Charlie Parker. The great pianist/teacher Barry Harris said, "The music has not progressed beyond Bird. Forget it." I understand what he is saying. But I must add that since Bird, rhythm sections have expanded and enriched their techniques to a point where the possibilities of the music are enhanced exponentially.

The Chess Players Wayne Shorter is, perhaps, the preeminent figure of a handful of post-Monk modern jazz composers. That so many musicians enjoy playing his portfolio is, to my thinking, a worthy measure of his success. The Chess Players has a sophisticated harmonic structure played over a bluesy, hard bop, shuffle rhythm that's fun to play.

Kosovo is my composition dedicated to the victims of the killing fields in the Balkans.

Minor Diversion is also my composition. I play the flugelhorn on this piece. It's a sixteen bar minor blues with a Latin rhythm.


Allen Houser - Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Bob Balthis - Trombone
Bob Butta - Piano
Bob Willis Jones - Drums
George Hyde - Bass
Paul Hannah - Tenor Saxophone


to write a review

Don Frye

Allen just keeps getting better and better. Part of it is that he has been playing with the same group of talented people - Bob Bathis, Bob Butta, Bob Willis Jones, George Hyde and Paul Hannah - for so long. These guys are about as technically perfect as you can get. And having worked together for so long they're like old marrieds, they know what the other is has in mind before the other does.

"Stolen Moments" and "Kosovo" are haunting. In all, this disc is the latest example of great bop practioners approaching total perfection.

Steve Geller

A knockout in virtuousity and spontaneity!
STOLEN MOMENTS is pure joy: easy, flowing, deep, smart, and always full of wit and ideas. The playing has the immediacy of a club, with its enthusiasms, goofs, sudden insights, and playing pleasures.

For Houser Sextet fans, this is a must, and part of the Sextet's ongoing journey within the world of exploration, improvisation, and delight!

Carleton Kent

Great bebop--swinging and well thought out
These musicians are some of the best you'll hear. The music is well-arranged and choice of material outstanding. Allen Houser's "Kosovo" is especially beautiful and poignant. The recording will remind you of the great Rudy Van Gelder in its immediacy and crispness; and most important, the band swings relentlessly.

Terry Plumeri

This band is very obviously enjoying itself, which is always a treat to hear.
This is a lovely CD, full of spontaneous moments much like you might hear in a live setting. The band is very obviously enjoying itself, which is always a treat to hear.