This reissue of Listen Here ! is part of a larger release program promoted by Concord Jazz during the label's 30th Anniversary year, which also includes the re-release of 30 important recordings from the vault in the SACD/hybrid format. All of these releases are compatible with standard CD players as well as the multi-channel SACD player. A similar technology was used on the late sixties Rolling Stones recordings Beggar’s Banquet,Let it Bleed, and Get Yer Ya Yas Out. In those cases, even the standard CD sonic quality was improved over the original CD releases. This is also true for Gene Harris’ seminal Listen Here!
is considered a soul jazz classic. That is fair. Gene Harris led one of the finest soul jazz bands in the Three Sounds in the 1960s and ‘70s before his retirement to Idaho. Before long, Ray Brown came calling and beckoned Harris out of retirement to perform on a Milt Jackson’s Soul Route. Know primarily as a superior blues pianist, Harris only includes one on this sole jazz icon. He turns Leon Russell’s "This Masquerade" and Eddie Harris’ "Listen Here!" his own.
A second reason for this recording to be a classic is that it employs Harris’ greatest quartet. Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, and Ron Eschete were all old Concord hands with Harris when these recordings were made. Regarding Ray Brown, he and Harris appeared on a number of each of their respective recordings to the point that the listener was not always sure who was leader. The result, to our great fortune, was that the music was always performed at the highest level. It makes this re-release a celebration.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.