St. James Infirmary – 1964

Henry “Red” Allen

A memorable performance of an old standard

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Henry “Red” Allen (1908-67) was a unique New Orleans trumpeter, singer and entertainer.

While inspired (and overshadowed) by Louis Armstrong, Allen had his own way of playing (often hitting harmonically advanced notes) and singing; he always generated excitement whenever he performed.

In 1964 he was still in prime form as can be seen by this performance in England with the Alex Welsh Band.

Supported by trombonist Roy Crimmins, Al Gay on clarinet and tenor, pianist Fred Hunt, electric guitarist Jim Douglas, bassist Ronnie Mathewson, and drummer Lennie Hastings, Allen performs a consistently surprising version of “St. James Infirmary,” bringing a lot of explosive energy to the stage.

-Scott Yanow


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