EHUD ASHERIE with HARRY ALLEN, LOWER EAST SIDE


One of the enduring pleasures of instrumental duet recordings like Lower East Side (Posi-tone), featuring pianist Ehud Asherie and saxophonist Harry Allen, is their commitment to melodic standards and as natural improvisers steeped in the art of swing, this joyful effort is a genuine stand out. An established player on the NY scene, Asherie’s nimble efficacy as a stride pianist is jaw dropping on tracks like “Hallelujah!” and Richard Rodger’s “Thou Swell.” On first listen, the agile musical conversation between Allen’s growling tenor and Asherie’s virtuosic playing style, informed by his passion for Erroll Garner and Monk, pulls you into their one-of-a-kind harmonic convergence. Sure, the duo are at their best when rubbing shoulders on tunes you’d associate with a Woody Allen film (“Deed I Do” and Irving Berlin’s “Always” are among the cocktail gems) but together they elevate the material in both charming and substantial ways. With six titles as a leader on the Posi-Tone label, Asherie’s gifts as a pianist register vividly, perhaps none more so than on “When I Grow To Old To Dream,” which closes the album and gives each of these accomplished musicians plenty of room to indulge their affection for songs from another era. A superb followup to their previous Posi-tone collaboration, Upper West Side, Lower East Side is another artful and irresistible effort. (11 tracks; 62 minutes) A sample of Asherie's skill:

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JAZZ IN SPACE: EHUD ASHERIE with HARRY ALLEN, LOWER EAST SIDE

Thursday, May 2, 2013

EHUD ASHERIE with HARRY ALLEN, LOWER EAST SIDE


One of the enduring pleasures of instrumental duet recordings like Lower East Side (Posi-tone), featuring pianist Ehud Asherie and saxophonist Harry Allen, is their commitment to melodic standards and as natural improvisers steeped in the art of swing, this joyful effort is a genuine stand out. An established player on the NY scene, Asherie’s nimble efficacy as a stride pianist is jaw dropping on tracks like “Hallelujah!” and Richard Rodger’s “Thou Swell.” On first listen, the agile musical conversation between Allen’s growling tenor and Asherie’s virtuosic playing style, informed by his passion for Erroll Garner and Monk, pulls you into their one-of-a-kind harmonic convergence. Sure, the duo are at their best when rubbing shoulders on tunes you’d associate with a Woody Allen film (“Deed I Do” and Irving Berlin’s “Always” are among the cocktail gems) but together they elevate the material in both charming and substantial ways. With six titles as a leader on the Posi-Tone label, Asherie’s gifts as a pianist register vividly, perhaps none more so than on “When I Grow To Old To Dream,” which closes the album and gives each of these accomplished musicians plenty of room to indulge their affection for songs from another era. A superb followup to their previous Posi-tone collaboration, Upper West Side, Lower East Side is another artful and irresistible effort. (11 tracks; 62 minutes) A sample of Asherie's skill:

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