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Allan Harris & Takana Miyamoto: Convergence

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Allan Harris & Takana MiyamotoConvergenceLove Production Records2012 A nostalgic trend that has gained traction in the last decade is that of bands (generally jam bands) performing “classic" rock albums live in their entirety, typically on Halloween or New Year's Eve. Some of the more notable examples of this include Phish's recent covers of the Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. (Self Produced, 2009), Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus (Self Produced, 2010), and Gov't Mule's covers of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy (Self Produced, 2008) and Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Harris & Takana Miyamoto: Convergence

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The eternal bond between piano and voice in jazz was cemented long before pianist Bill Evans and vocalist Tony Bennett ever took to the studio together, but they elevated this union of sounds to artistic heights ne'er before attained. Bennett and Evans erased the notions of vocals on top and pianist-as-mere-accompanist with The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album (Fantasy, 1975) and its less glorified follow-up, Together Again (Improv, 1977). They created a synergy in song craft that few before or since have come close to matching. What's even more remarkable, is how stylistically mismatched they technically were. Bennett the extrovert and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Harris: The Songs of Strayhorn

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This writer finally gets Strayhorn.

Tony Bennett considers Allan Harris to be his favorite vocalist. That is almost as profound as Frank Sinatra considering Tony Bennett his favorite vocalist. Mr. Bennett heaps no faint praise on Mr. Harris. Allan Harris is a very accomplished vocalist devoid of all of the barking and groaning afflicting many young singers in jazz today. I would liken Mr. Harris is a higher-range Johnny Hartman. He is very much in the hip crooner category. And for this release, Harris has chosen a perfect vehicle for himself: the Strayhorn songbook.

Harris has shined a beacon on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Harris: The Songs of Strayhorn

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Vocalist Allan Harris has daringly chosen to record an album dedicated solely to the compositions of Billy Strayhorn. Daring because, first, lyrics to Strayhorn tunes can be difficult to successfully put across to the listener; second, because they are mainly about unrequited unfilled love and are hardly ever cheerful, and third, several lyrics on the play list are rarely heard so will be unrecognizable to everyone except the most committed Strayhorn devotees. It turns out that these are not daunting obstacles at all for Harris as this album offers an hours worth of Strayhorn done as well as one can ...



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