The Allen Houser Sextet | Karenji (ARS006+1/2)

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Jazz: Bebop Jazz: Bebop Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Karenji (ARS006+1/2)

by The Allen Houser Sextet

Hard Bop -- Original and Lyrical in the swinging 21st Century Tradition
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Jack's of Sutter Street
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12:46 $0.79
2. Karenji
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9:50 $0.79
3. You've Changed
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9:35 $0.79
4. The Sidewinder
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13:49 $0.79
5. I Want A Little Girl
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8:02 $0.79
6. Woody'nt You
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10:55 $0.79
7. A Child's Song
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11:50 $0.79
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
the red blood
in you gets you
at sunrise

black floods
our private places
when the moon
is full

juice runs over
the garden party

white is the one
I want you
to have

Sandy Lattimore


This is my attempt to recall the mood Richard "Groove" Holmes achieved when his trio played at "Jack's" in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, circa 1963. I used to sit in, along with a number of fine musicians, at the Saturday morning jam sessions (6:00 to Noon). Outside the club not a creature was stirring, but when the door opened, the bass line ---like no other---smacked you right in the chest. It was a happy crowd of night people relaxing at dawn. Richard was very kind to me, considering the level of my playing back then. I have never forgotten those sessions. In this tune, I love the way the trio continues the groove until they are satisfied and you are too.


This is a compostion dedicated to my wife, Karen. We were college sweethearts and then, a short 35 years later, we reunited. I hope the music speaks, in small measure, of her kind and caring nature. Plus, lucky me, she's become a "Senior Babe."


Late in her career, Lady Day sang this with strings. She did not have the light, flexible instrument of her youth, but when you hear her sing this song, you understand what the very soul of music is all about. Brother Bob Balthis picks just the right notes to play to compliment the melody.


This is Lee Morgan's 1965 hit. I was in a record store in Berkeley, California and I asked to hear Lee's new Blue Note Album. After about 16 bars I said, "Sold. I'll take it. I love Lee Morgan." The little cutie at the counter said, "Have you told him?" I said something like, "God, only in Berkeley." Paul Hannah covers a lot of tenor saxophone history in his cooking solo. B. Willis, as on everything on this c.d., keeps the pots on from start to finish.


Bob Butta, the glue that holds this band together, is such an unusual musicain because he plays equally well across the spectrum of modern jazz piano, from Monk to Horace to McCoy. Quite a rare and formidable accomplishment. This is his nod to the great Wynton Kelly. Frank Moran likes him to play this when they work together. When you hear this danceable, authentic jazz groove, you understand what's critical and essential to this music. George plays a fine bass solo.


Dizzy wrote this for, or about, Woody Herman. It's a classic bebop tune. Balthis and I have be playing this for about 30 years. He added the kick chous. Where he found it is anyone's guess, but you might check out Art Blakey and Johnny Griffin for starters.


This is also my tune. I tried to portray the innocence and beauty of our children when they were very young. I am not a Christian, but I think the "carpenter" go it right when he said, "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." If you have ever heard a lovelier rubato piano chorus by anyone on the planet (or any other planet), please contact me.


Allen Houser Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Paul Hannah Tenor Sax
Bob Balthis Trombone
George Hyde Bass
Bob Butta Piano
B. Willis Jones Drums


to write a review

Jazz Improv-Dave Miele

The swing factor is off the chart...
The Allen Houser Sextet's KARENJI is a modern sounding jazz CD, featuring a great band performing in a most traditional style. The album features a mix of originals by the leader and jazz stardards of the bebop and post bebop era. This is a band with a leader, not a solo artist and some other guys. If you have nothing against a swinging band, get this CD.

Steve Geller

The Best of the Al Houser CD's - tight, lyrical, magical, funky
This is the best of the Al Houser CD's: the musicianship is tight, lyrical, magical, pure bop. Houser's originals are evocative of SF in the late 50's, early 60's (I want to read poetry to it!) to my mind, after NYC in the late 40's, just about the greatest time for jazz. Jack's of Sutter Street puts you there; Karenji is a sweet, soulful tribute to Al's sweet and soulful lady, with surprising chord changes; my favorite solo of Al's is You've Changed -- thoughtful, tender, mournful, a perfect memory of Lady Day; Wouldyn't You is the sextet opening up and having a ball, along with Sidewinder. What I love most about the CD is the variety of moods, tones, colors, and the excellence of each musician to get inside each piece and become everything it is and everything he is. What a gift is jazz, and what a gift does this CD give each of us!