The Greg Harris Vibe Quintet is equally adept at long, dreamy, ruminative pieces and more aggressive, driving numbers. As the name of the group suggests, Harris' vibes are the focus of the music on Open Spacewhether they take the lead or simply frame and define the space around the other players.
For example, bassist Rob Fahie fashions a series of fine, throaty statements on his composition "Lucid Dream, on top of which Harris plays rolling and sparkling accompaniment. The effect is like nothing so much as the stars twinkling around the somber night sky. Fahie and Harris further conspire to conjure the slinking melody of "Long Corridors. With a sheepish melodica from Harris, cautious guitar work from Matt Fuller, and skeletal, muted trumpet lines from Erinn Bone, the piece is like an extended tiptoe down the corridors of the title.
"Flank Fuzz is the extroverted opposite of the two aforementioned titles. Drummer Bill Larson lays down a straight-ahead groove and the band piles on. Fuller plays some effective muted gasps that contribute markedly to the forward momentum of the piece. Harris emphasizes the speedy, gliding aspect of his instrument and foregoes the dreamy crystalline accents he brings to the more pensive performances.
The Greg Harris Vibe Quintet is a finely integrated band that does an admirable job exploring often winding and intriguing compositions. The results on Open Space are unfailingly lush and rich.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.