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LIVE REVIEWS

Barry Harris: Village Vanguard, New York, January 25, 2012

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Barry HarrisVillage VanguardNew York, NYJanuary 15, 2012 Ambling in from the back of the room, Barry Harris introduced his trio to the crowd at the Village Vanguard as the musicians filed in ahead of him: Ray Drummond on bass, Leroy Williams on drums, and then he announced, with a wink, “I'm Barry Johnson." Of course, everybody in the audience was well familiar with the name of the living legend they were there to see. One of the great early disciples of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk--the latter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Live In Rennes

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The city of Detroit was once an incubator for some of the greatest jazz piano talent in the world. Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan and Sir Roland Hanna all came from the Motor City and contributed volumes to jazz history. Sadly, all three of those giants are gone now, but Barry Harris is keeping the flame alive. Harris is the last man standing from this exclusive club, and he continues to educate the masses through his workshops in New York and concerts all over the world. Live In Rennes documents a trio performance recorded in France during the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Barry Harris: Setting The Standard On Standards

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The Barry Harris Trio Iridium New York, NY February 4, 2010

Barry Harris has been a major force in jazz and jazz education for well over half a century. Now in his 80s, Harris seems to have lost none of his charm, wit, knowledge and skill, as he clearly held the crowd in the palm of his hand during his stay at the Iridium--just north of Times Square in Manhattan. This 75-minute set emphasized well-known songs from yesteryear, and many of the pieces began with gorgeous, rubato solo introductions from Harris. The ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Barry Harris and Mal Waldron: Passing It On / A Portrait

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Barry Harris / Mal Waldron Barry Harris: Passing It On / A Portrait of Mal Waldron Rhapsody Films

This DVD release collects two films about two significant jazz pianists--Barry Harris and Mal Waldron. The first film is a short (23 minutes) but wonderfully personable glimpse into the life of pianist/educator Harris, who describes himself at the film's beginning as an “inveterate be-bopper," a man dedicated to that part of the jazz language he calls “the beginning and end of music." What clearly comes across is how committed Harris is to increasing through teaching the ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Barry Harris in New York

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Barry Harris is one of the world's most respected jazz piano players and teachers, considered by many to be the foremost interpreter of the music of Bud Powell, Tadd Dameron and Thelonious Monk. For more than half a century, Harris has played with the giants of jazz including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley and Coleman Hawkins, traveling the world over as an ambassador of jazz.

But for forty-some years, no matter where he's been, Harris always looks forward to coming home to his apartment off of Boulevard East in Weehawken, New Jersey. “I've lived here for about ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Barry Harris: A Thousand Percent Music Man

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During a recent conversation, Barry Harris (75) was asked about his plans for the future. It evoked an instantaneous explosion of laughter from him before he replied, “Don't ask me that! The life I lead is the life I lead. The recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University, in person Dr. Harris is a physically unprepossessing 5' 6½ . “Yah, put da half in there, he remarks, punctuating it with one of his frequent chuckles. Talking with this warm, diminutive giant, legendary pianist, composer and educator is akin to being treated to a one-on-one master class. He's devoted his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Live in New York

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Maestro Barry Harris, who's never at a loss for an appropriate note or phrase, leads a well-coordinated quintet through its paces on this smooth-as-velvet but no less invigorating date, recorded 'on location' (we're not told where) in New York City.

Harris, one of the leading bop pianists of the past forty years and now an elder statesman at age seventy-four, remains at the top of his game, enhancing his marvelous chops with a storehouse of resourceful ideas whose shelves are always well-stocked. He is in the company of four similarly accomplished musicians whose voices are as strong and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Live in New York

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Live jazz recordings are a curious sort of creature. Sometimes they capture the energy of spontaneous creation so fundamental to the jazz idiom, while at other times they unwittingly detach the music from the atmosphere which inspired it. In the case of legendary pianist Barry Harris' recent release, Live in New York, jazz fans will be relieved to find an apt recovery of the creative energy and club atmosphere present on the night it was recorded. Joining Harris for the set is an able foursome made up of Charles Davis on tenor sax, Roni Ben-Hur on guitar, Paul ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Live In New York

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It is funny (strange) how the mainstream press “rediscovers" jazz musicians in the golden years of their careers. Not that Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, or Dexter Gordon had ever really been missing. As with these hall of famers, prepare for the mainstream press to rediscover pianist Barry Harris.

Marketing departments might favor twenty-somethings over bespeckled white-haired gentlemen, but jazz piano fans are loyal to Mr. Harris' warmhearted bebop lines. Cut from the same Detroit mold as Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan, Harris was partner with the masters of bebop Sonny Stitt, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, and Dexter Gordon. His own ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Live in New York

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Do they give Grammy Awards for the best performance by an underrated jazz performer? If they do, last year's winner would have to have been saxman Von Freeman's The Improvisor. This year the top nominee would have to be pianist Barry Harris, for Live in New York. Harris has been playing jazz in the mode of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and other bop icons for round about fifty years now, recording numerous albums as a leader on mostly smaller labels like Prestige and Riverside; he's recorded with Elvin Jones; worked with Cannonball Adderley's group in the early to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris Quintet: Newer Than New

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Barry Harris was always considered one of the elder statesmen of the Detroit scene, even though he was only in his thirties when he made his mark. Armed with a piano style based on the advances of Bud Powell, Harris dedicated his life to filling the vacuum left by the waning light of the bebop giants of NYC. To this end, he tutored several players of the Detroit scene, happy to share the spotlight with anyone who showed promise. Newer Than New is such an album; forgoing the hard bop movement en vogue at the time, Harris has at one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Glaser/Clark Terry/Barry Harris: Uh! Oh!

Alto saxophonist Dave Glasser brings together members of the jazz aristocracy for more than 60 minutes of fanciful and engaging playing. Glasser has been a regular member of the Clark Terry Quintet and has worked with George Benson, the Count Basie Orch. and Monty Alexander. Showing a good deal of flexibility with his alto, Glasser can deal with smooth, swinging, bop and post bop jazz genre. Glasser wrote eight of the program's tunes and in the hands of these more than capable artists, they sound better than they probably are.

“Tranquillity" is just that, peaceful and calm as Glasser's alto ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Glasser/Clark Terry/Barry Harris Project: Uh! Oh!

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Uh! Oh! joins Wycliffe Gordon's Slidin' Home (N-H 2001) and Byron Stripling's StriplingNow! as the third in the Nagel-Heyer 2000 series of contemporary mainstream jazz. Known principally for documenting the traditional mainstream of Louis Armstrong, the Hamburg-based Nagel-Heyer spreads its considerable wings with this series. Uh! Oh! is the most fully realized contemporary offering to date from the label, showcasing the considerable composition talents of altoist Dave Glasser. Adding old timers Clark Terry and Barry Harris elevate these sides into a superstar stratosphere. The results are purely empathic, the principals all interacting at the same high level that provides the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Barry Harris: Magnificent!

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By the time pianist Barry Harris recorded his first session as a leader in 1958, Breakin' It Up for the Argo label, Charlie Parker had already been dead for three years and the be-bop movement that he had helped usher in was already giving way to the more visceral advance of hard bop and the beginning strains of Ornette Coleman's “new thing" approach. For Harris, who was a died-in-the-wool be-bopper, this meant coming on the scene a bit too late to be part of the music that had inspired his own jazz quest. Subsequently, while Harris' love of the be-bop ...



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