Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » James Harman: Side Dishes

296

James Harman: Side Dishes

By

Sign in to view read count
James Harman: Side Dishes
Compiled from twelve of James Harman's most recent CDs, which were originally released between 1981 and 2003, Side Dishes offers a good look at where he's at today. Singing and playing a mean harp, the bluesman packs a wallop into every performance. Based in Los Angeles, he continues to please local audiences just about all year round. Fortunately, Harman isn't one to sit tight for any length of time. He tours frequently and spreads his unique blues message around the world in liberal doses. He believes in pure blues: the kind that comes from the heart, shows a sincere respect for roots tradition, and still manages to rock your boat all night long.

Harman, 61, grew up in Alabama where he lived with the blues on radio, on local street corners, and in his home through piano lessons. He showed a natural talent on his father's harmonicas, giving them a workout every chance he got. As soon as he was old enough, he started working the blues in clubs. The work took him through Panama City (Florida), Chicago, New York, Miami, New Orleans and eventually to Southern California where he found a home for his music. He's collaborated with some of the best in the blues business over the years, and some of his most exciting sidemen are heard here on this compilation.

Harman sings his own compositions. They appear in chronological order on this CD, grabbing onto a Deep South rhythm for their rhythmic wiggle and containing the contemporary blues textures of guitar, bass and drums along with the leader's vocals and harp. At a recent 2007 live appearance in Southern California, Harman used congas, two guitars, upright bass, and drums to deliver original songs with mighty power. As he closed the nineteenth annual Battle of the Blues Harps festival in November, he brought everyone up on their feet for a smokin' finale that will be remembered for years to come.

With the thirteen songs on Side Dishes, Harmon has amassed a thirteen-way tie for his "best of selection. Whether it's "Too Much Family, with guitarist Hollywood Fats, "Jump My Baby, with guitarist Kid Ramos, "Lonesome Moon Trance, with guitarist Nathan James or "Decisions, with guitarist Junior Watson, Harman explores blues from the inside out with an unquenchable spirit.

Track Listing

(I Got) So Many Womens; Jump My Baby; Won

Personnel

James Harman: harmonica, vocals, percussion; David

Album information

Title: Side Dishes | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Gulfcoast Records


< Previous
January 2008

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Heaven On My Mind
Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet
Beatin' the Odds
Leigh Pilzer
Nimble Digits
Geoff Stradling

Popular

The Seagull's Serenade
Dominik Schürmann
Heartland Radio
Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows
Slow Water
Stephan Crump

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.