Barry Harris in New York
Dan Morgenstern, the Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University and former chief editor for Down Beat Magazine for seven years simply thinks that Barry Harris is a one-man musical force. "Barry is one of the great jazz educators evermaybe not in the true academic sense but probably much more effective. Barry, in a way, is a one-man jazz movement and is somebody who is a true keeper of the jazz flame. When jazz was in a low ebb in the 1960s, Barry carried on and I remember that he was one of the only, or maybe the only player, who could be heard playing jazz in Harlem at that time.
As for the future of jazz, Barry hopes for the best, but he's worried about the lack of media attentionespecially programming geared to the younger generation. "I mean we have been completely ignored as an art form of late. We haven't been on television in prime time; we have nothing. But I think that Wynton Marsalis (the leader of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra) is helping to keep jazz alive.
And there are some other bright spots as well, says Harris. "I got to say we have some Rock & Roll cats that are out there doing jazz and bringing it to a larger audience again, like Rod Stewart. But Harris, being the teacher that he is, has a few pointers for Mr. Stewart. "I sure would love him to come to my house so I could teach him how to do some of this singing of the standards. He's not a bad singer, but his phrasing and breathing need a little work. I'm sure it won't be long when I'll be somewhere playing a great standard like "Just the Way You Look Tonight, and all these young kids will say, 'Hey, that's a Rod Stewart song.'
Barry Harris, Live In New York (Reservoir Music, 2003)
Barry Harris, Listen to Barry Harris...Solo Piano (Original Jazz Classics, 1961)
Barry Harris, Barry Harris At the Jazz Workshop (Original Jazz Classics, 1960)