All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

296

James Harman: Side Dishes

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
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

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Whispers on the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Magnetic" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Resting Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Resting Spirit
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 13, 2017