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king ubu

Eddie Harris Corner

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I have just gotten Harris' "For Bird and Bags" and do really enjoy that album!

There is not Harris thread here, so I thought we could start discuss his music here.

One of my favorite 32jazz releases was the 2CD set by Harris including "The In Sound", "Mean Greens", "Tender Storm" and "Silver Cycles".

There is a lot of very good music to be found on these dates! Harris' sound is unique by all means. He was truly his own man.

What's your opinion about him? Which are your favorite albums? Let's start some discussion of the man and his music here!

ubu

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Eddie was a great soloist, no question. I really like the famous "Compared To What", with Les McCann (whom I also used to like - you never hear about him anymore).

When I was driving around L.A. in 1991, Chuck Niles on KLON was featuring his album "A Tale Of Two Cities" a lot. The long "Chicago Serenade", recorded before an enthusiastic home audience, is REALLY funky. It is almost, as the French would say, le dernier cri in funk. Highly recommended for when you are tired of more "serious" material.

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Eddie was a great soloist, no question. I really like the famous "Compared To What", with Les McCann (whom I also used to like - you never hear about him anymore).

When I was driving around L.A. in 1991, Chuck Niles on KLON was featuring his album "A Tale Of Two Cities" a lot. The long "Chicago Serenade", recorded before an enthusiastic home audience, is REALLY funky. It is almost, as the French would say, le dernier cri in funk. Highly recommended for when you are tired of more "serious" material.

I love the Swiss Movement record! Benny Bailey is quite good on that one, too (although he himself seems to dislike the album...).

I heard a broadcast of a Bill Evans (sax player) concert from some german jazz festival (maybe two years ago), where Les McCann was added to the group as a special guest (piano & vocals) for two of the broadcasted tracks. I have no idea to what he(McCann)'s up today, however.

ubu

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I really enjoy his first four VeeJay albums. Besides those I have the Atlantic twofers you mentioned and Swiss Movement. I would really like to hear more so I'm answering to this thread in anticipation of what others have to recommend.

The duet he does with Joe Diorio on guitar on the track Alica from Exodus to Jazz is really awesome. There isn't much solo space here, just two guys playing the head a couple of time, the bridge, and the head again. Yet the tune is really captivating, because there is a lot of nuance and finesse to the playing.

His tone is unique and even I have no difficulties in recognising him. I even managed on the latest BFTest disk! :rhappy:

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Check out his SteepleChase date with Tete.

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I love the Enja album he made with Kenny Barron, Ben Riley and Cecil McBee. It's called "There Was A Time - Echo of Harlem". A beautiful date! Was recorded in 1990.

enj6068b.jpg

ubu

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I'm a big fan of Mr. Harris. I love his VeeJay and Atlantic work, and the work on other labels too. . .ah heck, I just love his work. Period.

I thought of starting a thread for him. . . I was going to call it "The Eddie Harris Outlet" . . .Plug him in! ;)

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I'm a big fan of Mr. Harris. I love his VeeJay and Atlantic work, and the work on other labels too. . .ah heck, I just love his work. Period.

Lon, what's the best way to get the Veejay stuff? I've heard some of it but don't have anything.

Would you rather get the Bluemoon or the Collectables?

ubu

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I have the Blue Moons, and I have one on Collectables. The Moons have better sound by a few hairs, but the Collectable is not bad at all sound wise. . . . If possible shoot for the Moons!

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I have the Blue Moons, and I have one on Collectables. The Moons have better sound by a few hairs, but the Collectable is not bad at all sound wise. . . . If possible shoot for the Moons!

Thanks, I'll look for them!

Collectables has some stuff not on Blue Moon.

Which of these later Collectables (almost everything originally on Atlantic) are recommended?

Excursions (2CD) (1966-73)

The Lost Album + The Better Half (1962/63)

Plug Me In / High Voltage (1968, 1969)

In the UK / Is It In (1974, 1975)

I Need Some Money (1974) / David Newman Bigger Better (1969)

Live At Newport / Instant Death (1971, 1972)

Bad Luck Is All I Have / How Can You Live Like That? (1975, 1976) (2CD)

Free Speech / That’s Why You Are Overweight (1969, 1976)

The Versatile E.H. / E.H. Sings The Blues (2CD)

Cool Sax, Warm Heart / Cool Sax From Hollywood To Broadway (Columbia, 1964)

thanks,

ubu

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Check out his SteepleChase date with Tete.

You mean this one, Chuck?

d25372h83j4.jpg

looks good!

ubu

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I've liked all the Atlantic material that I have heard. IF you like his electric and funky stuff, then nearly all of these will please. Definitely consider the one that reissues the Columbia lps though, Cool Sax, Warm Heart / Cool Sax From Hollywood To Broadway.

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Will check them out, Lon, thanks.

I have some of the electric Atlantic stuff (The Electrifying Rhino twofer, Silver Cycles) and like the stuff quite a lot.

ubu

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Check out his SteepleChase date with Tete.

You mean this one, Chuck?

d25372h83j4.jpg

looks good!

ubu

I will look for it. I love every Steeplechase date with Tete on it! Thanks for the information.

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Definitely consider the one that reissues the Columbia lps though, Cool Sax, Warm Heart / Cool Sax From Hollywood To Broadway.

Also be on the lookout for a third, as yet unreissued, Columbia LP, HERE COMES THE JUDGE. Not sure if it's leftovers from the other two, but if it is, seldom have leftovers been so tasty!

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I'm sure I won't get much agreement on this but I liked his Atlantic dates especially when the band became electric. I also like "Compared to What". EH was sure enough funky.

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Oh yeah, Eddie was open on all sides. Cool, hard bop, funky, he had it all down, and he was one of the most humorous musicians I ever saw. I miss him. One of the few who really got kicks from making fun of himself and everybody around - and that for sure wasn't commercial.

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Eddie Harris' "Here Comes the Judge" has been reissued on CD by European Sony three/four years ago (492533-2). A very nice record.

LC

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I have only recently had my first exposure to Eddie Harris and in the past couple of weeks I have been doing a somewhat thorough investigation of his music. I have heard most of the recordings already mentioned in addition to a couple not. I am really enjoying the journey thus far. All these years I had mistakenly assumed that Harris was a "soul jazz" artist with limited talent. My apoligies to the Harris estate and anyone else that misguided assumption may offend. Wow! He really was a mother. I listened to the entireSiwss Movement disc last week and was blown away. I had heard the two hit tracks many times in my life, but that was the first time I ever actually "listened" to the album. Very funky and soulful, but Harris also plays some to my ears advanced tenor on that record. The best example to me is the third track (can't remember the title). My first reaction was this is an amazing solo!

In addition to all the recordings previously mentioned I would also strongly recommend Vexatious Progressions. Its a quintet recording from the nineties when Harris was primarily playing hard bop. The playing is strong and I especially like the compositions.

Noone wants to read a long boring list, but I have also enjoyed Steps Up (with Tete Montoliu), There Was A Time (Echo of Harlem), Freedom Jazz Dance (1997 quartet date with Jacky Terrasson and Billy Hart on Musicmasters), The Lost Album Plus The Better Half (highlighted by the presence of Bunky Green and two extended 15 minute workouts with Mel Rhyne on organ that prove how inventive Green and Harris are), The In Sound/Mean Greans, and Exodus To Jazz/Mighty Like A Rose.

I am going to keep an eye on this thread so keep the recommendations coming.

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Which of these later Collectables (almost everything originally on Atlantic) are recommended?

Excursions (2CD) (1966-73)

The Lost Album + The Better Half (1962/63)

Plug Me In / High Voltage (1968, 1969)

In the UK / Is It In (1974, 1975)

I Need Some Money (1974) / David Newman Bigger Better (1969)

Live At Newport / Instant Death (1971, 1972)

Bad Luck Is All I Have / How Can You Live Like That? (1975, 1976) (2CD)

Free Speech / That?s Why You Are Overweight (1969, 1976)

The Versatile E.H. / E.H. Sings The Blues (2CD)

Sorry I'm so late, but info like this is never too late (Atlantic except as noted):

Excursions is a great collection of leftovers from his recording sessions for Atlantic, ranging from straightahead stuff with Cedar Walton, Ron Carter & Billy Higgins (what a magnificent quartet, BTW), over the quartet with Jodie Christian to later stuff of the band with Rufus Reid and Ronald Muldrow. No duplications with other albums and a great overview of the styles he covered during his tenure with Atlantic.

The Lost album contains music unissued on VeeJay at the time, including a rare session with melvin Rhyne. Haven't heard it, but have to get this for sure.

Plug me in etc. is one studio and one live album (both rather short) from his funky "Listen Here" period - groovy and humorous.

In the UK is his date with British Blues & Rock musicians, haven't heard it, Is It In is one of my secret favourites, some of the weidest groove music you will ever here, electric bongos, a put-on of warfare in the jungle .... if you dig Eddie's humour ... I do! House Party Blues is priceless!

Newport is not so deep, sound is only acceptable. Instant Death is a wide ranging affair with Muhal Richard Abrams (!), Muldrow, Reid, Billy James and Chicago master percussionist Henry Gibson. Very groovy and some more wild humour.

Bad Luck etc. is later Atlantic funky stuff with his satiric sprechgesang, I'd say only for Eddie addicts ...

Free Speech is Eddie's take on the Bitches Brew influence, with some great Jodie Christian on Rhodes piano, one of my favourites. Overweight is from the Bad Luck period.

Versatile is a solo album with overdubs by Eddie on piano (he is an excellent pianist with plenty of blues feeling!), Sings the Blues has Eddie singing through his electric sax, among others, the band with Abrams etc.

If you like Eddie, you'll dig them all, I'm afraid ...

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Thanks, Mike! Never too late.

I did not yet pick up any of the discs.

How about Eddie's roots? Sure some Lester in there, no? What do you think? I mean, his sound is very very much his own, he's one of those musicians you recognise from the first one or two notes he plays, but he does come from some place.

ubu

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AFAIK Eddie started as a pianist/vocalist and vibes player - I heard him play some mean bluesy piano live a few years before he died, he was a real down home earthy player and had a wild imagination as well. He made his professional debut as a pianist in the Gene Ammons band.

He is quoted on the liner for "The Tender Storm: "I like Miles for choice of notes, Milt Jackson for feeling, Stan Getz for timbre and sound, Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown for smoothness and articulation, Rollins and Coltrane for their skips and intervals."

Nuff said!

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Mike, I read that quote somewhere, too. Getz would be the closest influence on sax, I think, yes.

There's one EH CD I have from early nineties I think where he does some piano and singing, too. Very funny stuff!

ubu

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Mike, I read that quote somewhere, too. Getz would be the closest influence on sax, I think, yes.

But only the sound!!! Eddie's choice of notes is entirely different from Getz'!!!

That quote is very very fitting! He uses that "cool" sound but the "hot" phrasing of the advanced hard bop school. There is no other cat who could have written Freedom Jazz Dance or Mean Greens! This is some phrasing even different from Rollins or Trane.

I hear a parallel to Lucky Thompson, who managed to cross the rhapsodic attitude of Hawkins with the fluidity of Don Byas and the lightness of Lester Young. Very individual mixtures of influences!

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Mike, I read that quote somewhere, too. Getz would be the closest influence on sax, I think, yes.

But only the sound!!! Eddie's choice of notes is entirely different from Getz'!!!

That quote is very very fitting! He uses that "cool" sound but the "hot" phrasing of the advanced hard bop school. There is no other cat who could have written Freedom Jazz Dance or Mean Greens! This is some phrasing even different from Rollins or Trane.

I hear a parallel to Lucky Thompson, who managed to cross the rhapsodic attitude of Hawkins with the fluidity of Don Byas and the lightness of Lester Young. Very individual mixtures of influences!

Yes, you're right, Mike, I forgot to specify sound when talking of the Getz influence. Moreover, it's like a Getz-sound on alto (but not too close to Desmond or Konitz), that Harris had.

Of course his whole style is completely his own - and this is one reason more why it's so sad that so many jazz fans dismissed him! He was completely his own man, playing tenor in front of a classic rhythm section (those Walton/Carter/Higgins dates, MAN!, or the marvellous Echo of Harlem ), doing his electric thing (Silver Cycle is great, so are Electrifying E.H.), as a composer, too ("Freedom Jazz Dance", "Listen Here", "Sham Time", "Funkaroma"...), as well as a piano-player/singer (a true hyphenated!) and entertainer.

An album I recently got and like a lot is this one:

For Bird to Bags (AMG)

e379073ysvf.jpg

I think it is OOP now, but it may still be around. Reissued by Koch.

(links etc working as I am supposed to be working, and am not using my notebook)

ubu

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