among others, he began playing woodwinds while in second grade and has favored the alto and tenor saxophones ever since. Though a veteran of the Portland, Oregon jazz scene since 1964, Inside-Out is his first outing as leader, an amazing top-notch recording of post-bop material that shines all over.
The album is one of those hidden gems sparkling with sensational renditions of jazz standards from Tadd Dameron
and others. With stellar arrangements from Hall, the disc boasts nine classic standards and a single original ("Boston After Dark") penned by Harris when he taught at Boston's Berklee College of Music decades ago. The music is outstanding, the band, is just as impressive. Harris brings together four players with national reputations and, after one sampling of the album, it's clear why.
, Harris peels off the first of many sizzling alto solos on the opening "You're My Everything," sharing the spotlight with Mazzio, Mitchell and Captein on a dazzling bop-infused rendition of this timeless classic. Gary Burton
's obscure "Profiles" in a Berklee Jazz improvisation class attended by Harris, who copied the changes and has used it ever since. The boppish flair of the set continues with Harris's tenor voice on "I Hear A Rhapsody" and Clare Fischer
The bossa-flavored "Pensativa," is the defining pieces of the disc, featuring Harris and crew glowing with incredible solos. The music is of apparent significance to the saxophonist for both his record label and website are titled after this Fischer song. Harris' alto continues to sing on Harold Arlen
's soulful ballad, "Soultrane." Closing with a strong statement on Monk's "Little Rootie Tootie," Harris emerges as a voice to be reckoned with in a solid performance and an impressive debut that should have the critics buzzing and audiences clamoring for more. Lending an exciting new sound to a host of familiar jazz standards, Harris may well turn the jazz world Inside-Out with this compelling first outing.
Track Listing: You're My Everything; Boston After Dark; Profiles; I Hear A Rhapsody; We'll Be Together Again; I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You); Pensativa; A Sleepin' Bee; Soultrane; Little Rootie Tootie.
Personnel: Bill Harris: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Paul Mazzio: trumpet, flugelhorn; George Mitchell: piano; Dave Captein: bass; Dick Berk: drums.