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This was one of the legendary tenor saxophonist’s final recording sessions before his death on November 5, 1996. Recorded in 1994 with a marvelous quartet, Freedom Jazz Dance is a portrait of a musical titan with his creative muse in full bloom. His immediately recognizable sound is beautifully showcased on this disc.
The title tune is Eddie Harris’ most famous composition and he wails as only he can, supported by the great drumming of Billy Hart, George Mraz on bass and Jacky Terrasson on piano. Billy Hart is ferocious and drives the quartet to inspired heights. A truly sweet "Georgia on My Mind" is next, followed by Freddie Hubbard’s "Little Sunflower", another great tune which elicits excellent solos from Harris and Terrasson. Harris’ tender side is featured on two ballads, "Stars Fell on Alabama" and "For All We Know". One of the highlights of the disc is a powerful, Coltrane-esque version of "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho".
Highly recommended for fans and a great place to start for listeners new to Eddie Harris’ unique contributions to jazz music.
Track Listing: Freedom Jazz Dance; Georgia On My Mind; Little Sunflower; Stars Fell on Alabama; Lisa Marie; Joshua Fit the Battle Of Jericho; For All We Know (53:43)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.