Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

113

Gene Harris & the Philip Morris All-Stars: Live

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
All–Stars? They don’t shine much brighter than this. Most of these gentlemen have been winning Jazz polls and receiving other well–deserved honors for many years. The exception is drummer Nash, a relative newcomer who isn’t winning many polls — yet — but should be, and who certainly isn’t out of place among these heavyweights. This concert, recorded in April 1995 at the University Club in San Diego, California, was part of a seminar whose focus was, appropriately enough, free speech, and whose audience consisted mainly of leading jurists from around the world and members of the Hollywood elite. They undoubtedly acquired some fresh insights on freedom of speech, Jazz–style, from these acknowledged masters. Harris, the nominal leader, sees to it that every voice in the ensemble comes through loud and clear — including his own, of course — with showcase features for then–79–year–old Sweets Edison (“I Wish I Knew”), Burrell (“Star Crossed Lovers/Take the A Train”) and Turrentine (“Time After Time”) and everyone stretching on Milt Jackson’s funky “Bags’ Groove” and Ellington’s free–wagging “Cottontail.” Harris’s emphatic, blues–drenched piano, Mraz’s booming, metronomic bass and Nash’s tasteful, unerring drums comprise a rhythm section that’s about as good as they come. I especially admire the way Nash calmly governs mood and tempo without stepping on anyone’s toes or invading his space (and love his solo, too, on “Cottontail”). As I’ve said before, one of my favorite drummers. Baritone Ernie Andrews is in topnotch form, as always, on “Collage in Blue” and “Low Down Blues Medley” (the latter including impressions of blues masters Jimmy Rushing, Art Jammerson, Al Hibbler and Walter Brown), on both of which he receives exemplary support, especially from Harris (whose soulful stride–style chorus on “Blues Medley” is a highlight). While there’s nothing here that hasn’t been heard many times before, even the most familiar melodies sparkle like new again when performed by such capable and earnest musicians.

Track listing: Bags’ Groove; I Wish I Knew; Ellington medley (Star Crossed Lovers/Take the “A” Train); Time After Time; Collage in Blue (All Blues/Every Day I Have the Blues/Goin’ Down Slow/CC Rider); Cottontail; Low Down Blues medley (Parker’s Mood/Goin’ to Chicago/Rocks in My Bed/Confessin’ the Blues) (60:10).


Track Listing: Bag

Personnel: Gene Harris- piano; Kenny Burrell- guitar; Harry "Sweets" Edison- trumpet; George Mraz- acoustic bass; Lewis Nash- drums; Stanley Turrentine- saxophone; Ernie Andrews- vocals on the medleys "Collage in Blue" and "Low Down Blues Medley."

Title: Live | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Two Roads" CD/LP/Track Review Two Roads
by Jim Olin
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Uncharted Waters" CD/LP/Track Review Uncharted Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Lookin' East" CD/LP/Track Review Lookin' East
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017