There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington.
Between 2 Worlds is a collection of material culled from sessions on either side of the Atlantic. The first seven tracks were cut in New York and the remaining four in Berlin. Regardless of points on a map, though, the two worlds that Loeb straddles on the album are more conceptual than geographical. Between 2 Worlds dispenses with much of the technology of his previous recordings and instead focuses on the basic trio of guitar, bass and drums.
This saxman's horns have been used by everyone from Elvis to the Kids From Fame over the years, but don't hold that against him. He had one of 1988's most underrated debuts, a self-titled effort that featured some of L.A.'s best musicians. His follow-up a year later cooked just as intensely, although poor label support led Herbig to go back to the sidelines and abandon the quest for solo stardom – a great pity. Though this disc lacks the Bill Champlin vocal tracks that put the first one into orbit, there's still so much to love here: the bouncy and melodic R&B of the title cut, some gospel-like blues (with the help of Don Grusin and Greg Matheson) on the steamy "Manhattan Lady," the soaring lite funk of "Follow Me," and a tad of happy blues on "Pride and Joy." Herbig seems to favor tunes of the expressive, soulful variety and sticks mostly to midtempo grooves to weave his hefty horn licks in and out of.
In communist Romania, thousands of Western films on bootleg VHS tapes — mostly Hollywood action movies — were smuggled behind the Iron Curtain, opening a window into the free world. Under President Nicolae Ceaușescu, Romania was culturally isolated and ideologically censored. Images of life outside its borders were cut off and TV was reduced to propaganda bulletins. From the drab concrete housing blocks to the food ration lines, the threat of surveillance prevented people from stepping out of line. But in the mid-1980s, under the nose of the Securitate, Ceaușescu’s secret police, thousands of Hollywood films were smuggled into the country by an underground operative named Zamfir, and they were all covertly dubbed by Irina Nistor, a courageous translator whose distinct voice captivated the nation and became a symbol of freedom. As we see through evocative re-creations in Chuck Norris vs Communism, a network of secret screening rooms sprung up across Romania as families, friends, and neighbors gathered to watch action heroes like Norris, Van Damme, and Stallone, along with romantic comedies, dramas, and Hollywood epics.