Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet Plays Music from South Pacific
Arbors RecordsARCD: 19380
Harry Allen-tenor saxophone
"Harry Allen, Joe Cohn, Rebecca Kilgore and Eddie Erickson, with this CD—their second Broadway show project—can now be said to constitute the official Arbors Repertory Company of American Musical Theater. Late in 2007 they released their Guys and Dolls collection (Arbors 19354), and this follows in a similarly unique form. I say unique because it cuts a kind of rare middle path between the opposing demands of jazz and theater. Virtually all the jazz-Broadway productions we've heard in the past have been open-ended instrumental abstractions of the original. Here, though, Allen and Cohn jam the songs while vocalists Kilgore and Erickson (heard on 12 of the 15 tunes) remain securely moored to the substance if not the style of the primary scores. The result is a buoyant, swinging romp through South Pacific, but with the words, the verses, and the sentiments of the original still in focus to remind us what the show is really about—a love story corrupted by racism.
—John McDonough, who writes regularly for Down Beat and The Wall Street Journal
A Cock-Eyed Optimist, Younger Than Springtime, Bloody Mary, Twin Soliloquies, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair, There Is Nothin' Like a Dame, Dites-Moi, A Wonderful Guy, Happy Talk, Honeybun, Some Enchanted Evening, You've Got To Be Carefully Taught, My Girl Back Home, This Nearly Was Mine, Balli Ha'I