Christ Church Music in Marlow

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Harry Allen Quartet, 10th March 2015

A great gig and nothing less than a masterclass in the technique of saxophone playing!


To those of us who "blow a bit" as amateur players, Harry Allen's technique was inspirational.  He has such economy of movement, his fingers barely rippling as he plays with high-speed precision.  And if you want to know what "lip out" technique means, take a look at some of the pictures.  Except that what it really meant in this case was a sound to die for and a great flexibility and range of tone.


Harry Allen was backed by a first-rate trio of Andrea Pozza (piano), Steve Brown (drums) and Simon Woolf (bass).  They seemed to be enjoying themselves - and the audience certainly was!  In the second half of the programme Andrea treated us to his solo version of Lush Life on our 1901 Bechstein, an utterly baroque cascade of notes played with studied nonchalance.  Another master at work!


For their finale, and at the request of two long-standing fans in the audience, the band launched into a version of Body and Soul that started with slow smoochiness, launched off into double-time variations and eventually put the brakes on again to end as it began.  A fine conclusion to the evening.

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