Henry "Red" Allen, born as Henry James Allen, Jr., ( January 7, New Orleans, New York, 1908 — april 17, 1967) was an American jazz musician and one of the most important swingtrumpeters from the period. He led several smaller bands and also vocals except trumpet took on his behalf.
Allen Jr. was in Algiers, a district of New Orleans, the son of Henry Allen, the leader of All the ' Brass '. The young Allen also played in the Orchestra of his father before he got a place in in 1927 King Oliver's big band. In 1927 King Oliver took him to New York for a recording. He also replaced his almost namesake Ed all at Clarence Williams. Once back in New Orleans, he went back at night and during the day in the Storyville district play on the boats of the Mississippi (1928-1929). Afterwards, he returned to New York and played there Luis Russell's band in New York in the period 1929-1932. Allen was part of the Fletcher Henderson 's big band (1933-1934) and of Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1934-1937) before again at Russell's band was going to play. He accompanied Louis Armstrong in 1937-1940. Following a number of performances for the night club New York Dixieland (1954-1965) he also began to sing regularly. In the later years of his career (1950s and 1960s), his name on the posters as a sideman by Kid Ory, as band leader of a group where Coleman Hawkins played in, and also as a band leader with Pee Wee Russell.
Allen continued to play until his death in 1966 as a result of pancreatic cancer.
Red Allen is a pupil of the elder Louis Armstrong, but his game is different than that of Satchmo, with a more complex rhythm, alternating crescendo's and decrescendos, glissando's and a diversity of sounds and inflections. "He is the most creative and avant-garde trumpeter in New York," said Don Ellis. His influence is clear in subsequent trumpeters as Roy Eldridge and Harry Edison.
- World on a String (originally "Ride, Red, Ride in Hi-Fi")
- The College Concert with Pee Wee Russell (Impulse!, 1966)
- Jazz Standards and Warhorses, with Coleman Hawkins, (Jass Records, CD version 1987)