McMahon Jazz Medicine is pleased to announce the release of Harry Allen's new CD, “Jazz for the Heart,” the second in what promises to be a four-set series of recordings under the McMahon Jazz Medicine label. Their first effort, “Jazz for the Soul,” successfully showcased the tenorist’s mastery over his instrument, confirming his place as one of the greatest proponents of melodic jazz today. This latest work is well worth the wait.
Indeed, “Jazz for the Heart” is a masterful melodic marvel, with Harry Allen’s expertise in evidence with every note played. His sound is reminiscent of Stan Getz on the upper register and invokes the deep, breathy richness of Ben Webster on the lower register. The first album of the series, “Jazz for the Soul,” was a very successful recording, with sales in the thousands, and the new CD, “Jazz for the Heart,” is destined for the same fate.
The Harry Allen and Joe Cohn quartet, which features Joe Cohn on guitar, Joel Forbes on bass and Chuck Riggs on drums, recently received the 2006 award for Outstanding Jazz Combo, presented at the New York City Nightlife Awards. This latest award reconfirms the band’s excellence, as does the excellently crafted “Jazz for the Heart,” which reinterprets a superlative list of love songs, including a great take on “Skylark,” the classic from Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael, and a blissful “Moonlight in Vermont.” Other great takes include “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” “In the Wee Small Hours,” and “Mona Lisa.” There are nine others, one of which is Harry Allen’s own “If There’s a Sky Above.” The band, augmented by typically great piano artistry from John Bunch, is supportive throughout but content to let Harry Allen’s work take center stage. The mood is sensual, sensitive, and serene. It does a heart good. . . .