Allison will bring his passion for these jazz giants, as well as his knowledge and anecdotes about the Tenor Titans, to the Riverside show. He'll also be bringing a crack musical team consisting of vocalist Alford, trumpeter John Bailey, bassman Lew Berryman, guitarist Simon Salz, drummer Lenny Steinberg, and pianist pal Jack Keller, with whom he recorded the excellent 1985 release Live at Ziegfeld's (look for it to be released on CD in the near future, and buy it immediately).
But for now, it's back to the business at hand, as drummer Marv Gordon and keyboardist Ed Cerveny come out to look for the third side of their triangle. Allison excuses himself, slips on his blue blazer, props himself on his stool, and prepares to fade into the mix of tinkling dinnerware, the chatter of elderly matrons, and a table of young girls slurping pasta. Still, it's a good gig, steady work (though recently cut from six nights to four for postseason).
After two decades on the SoFla jazz scene, playing Ronnie's Lounge with pianist and partner Billy Marcus, and the vital Airliner in the days when they'd draw a Horace Silver or Roland Kirk or Cleanhead Vinson, Allison still appears to love what he's doing, going all out on promotion for a show he deeply believes in. Says Allison, "It doesn't matter if you have Count Basie coming back from the grave if nobody knows about it."
The Tenor Titans tribute takes place at 8:00 tonight (Thursday) at the Riverside Hotel, 620 E Las Olas Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, 524-0805. Tickets are $15.