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Donald Harrison: Real Life Stories

C. Michael Bailey By

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Donald Harrison: Real Life Stories Nouveau Swing...

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.

Year Released: 2002 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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