215

Barry Harris: Live in New York

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Barry Harris: Live in New York 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 sure as his own, and their impressive camaraderie is a hallmark of this warm and consistently inspiring session.

Harris opens with Tadd Dameron's swaying 'Casbah,' based on 'Out of Nowhere,' and, being the gentleman that he is, allows tenor Charles Davis and guitarist Roni Ben-Hur to have a go before adding several persuasive choruses of his own. Harris's brisk, boppish 'Monking Around,' based on another venerable standard, 'Strike Up the Band,' includes perceptive statements by every member of the group. Drummer Leroy Williams wrote the soft and lyrical 'Two Step,' which precedes another homage by Harris, the gentle samba 'To Dizzy with Love.'

Monk's classic ''Round Midnight' unfolds at an oblique angle before aligning its course to accommodate ardent solos by Harris, Ben-Hur and Davis. Harris involves the audience in the finale, asking them to call out numbers from one to eight. After choosing the numbers seven, four and three, he immediately transforms them into an impromptu yet captivating melody, which he calls (what else?) '7-4-3,' encouraging the audience to sing along as he unravels it'a perfect way to crown the performance and leave everyone feeling pleased and satisfied.

I hope it doesn't sound like gushing when I say (as others have) that Barry Harris is without question one of the most eloquent and tasteful Jazz pianists on the scene today. His supporting cast on Live in New York is first-class, and even though marveling at their split-second brilliance via compact disc isn't quite the same as having been there, there's no reason why you too shouldn't be pleased and satisfied after doing so. And unlike an audience, you can replay and admire the performance as often as you like.

Track Listing: Casbah; Monking Around; Two Step; To Dizzy with Love; Round Midnight; 7-4-3 (60:38).

Personnel: Barry Harris, piano; Charles Davis, tenor saxophone; Roni Ben-Hur, guitar; Paul West, bass; Leroy Williams, drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Reservoir Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Brass Tactics" CD/LP/Track Review Brass Tactics
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "A Cut Through The Heart" CD/LP/Track Review A Cut Through The Heart
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!