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The Wizard of Jazz: A Tribute To Harold Arlen

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Album Review

Guitarist/arranger Peter Hand assembled a big band for this concert, stocking it with a number of well-known veterans, but featuring tenor saxophonist Houston Person prominently. The program consists of seven songs by the legendary Harold Arlen, starting with an easygoing, bluesy take of "Come Rain or Come Shine" showcasing Person, Hand, and pianist Richard Wyands, with some potent writing for the horns to accompany it. The poignant ballad "The Man That Got Away" is an overlooked gem in Arlen's vast output, with a heartfelt solo by Person, while the tenor saxophonist communicates the words with his effective playing of "Stormy Weather," backed by Hand's inspired voicings for the brass and reeds. The one medley of the evening is a departure from the Arlen songbook, a medley of spirited blues by Person and Hand. To wrap the evening, Houston Person plays a lush, unaccompanied solo of "Over the Rainbow" to bring down the house.

The Wizard of Jazz: A Tribute To Harold Arlen, Peter Hand
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