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Alto saxophonist Donald Harrison is all about dance. It is danceable rhythms that fuel his nouveau swing vision of jazz. Not necessarily Latin in texture, the rhythm is at once angular and smooth—a musical dichotomy. The 42-year-old New Orleans native has been recording since the mid 1980s and has produced a solid track record writing, arranging and performing original and standard repertoire using his nouveau swing roadmap. It is this vision and road map that allows Harrison the ability to freshen up Sonny Rollins’ "Oleo" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia." The most daring outing is his cover of the Desmond/Brubeck classic "Take Five," imbuing the song with Latin sensibility.
Harrison is capably supported by the very fine Eric Reed on piano, Vicente Archer on bass, and John Lamkin on drums. Christian Scott provides the brass and the sum of all parts is a swinging recital of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Recommended.
Track Listing: Playa Haters; Real Life Stories; Swept From The Sea; Oleo; A Night In Tunisia; Strange Day; Take Five; I'm Barred; Keep The Faith.
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.