Tony Bennett considers Allan Harris to be his favorite vocalist. That is almost as profound as Frank Sinatra considering Tony Bennett his favorite vocalist. Mr. Bennett heaps no faint praise on Mr. Harris. Allan Harris is a very accomplished vocalist devoid of all of the barking and groaning afflicting many young singers in jazz today. I would liken Mr. Harris is a higher-range Johnny Hartman. He is very much in the hip crooner category. And for this release, Harris has chosen a perfect vehicle for himself: the Strayhorn songbook.
Harris has shined a beacon on Strayhorn through a bit of scholarship. He has uncovered some previously known Strayhorn pieces and has supplied lyrics to some familiar Strayhorn instrumentals. "Sittin' and A Rockin'" rocks, "Passion Flower" wails, "A Flower is a Lovesome Things" aches with a Latin beat. Eric Reed, the much sought after pianist, provides his support with a state of grace and personality. Don Braden's saxophone, particularly on "Day Dream." This is a most entertaining disc.
Track Listing: Just A-Sittin' And A-Rockin; Something To Live For; My Little Brown Book; Love Came; Chelsea Bridge; Lushlife; Daydream; Pretty Girl; Passion Flower; Oo (You Make Me Tingle); Your Love Has Faded; A Flower Is A Lovesomething; Lotus Blossom; Love Has Passed Me By Again. (Total Time: 57.13).
Personnel: Allan Harris: Vocals; Eric Reed: Piano; Don Braden: Saxophone; Cecil Brooks: Drums; Essiet Okon Essiet: Bass; Ron Affifl Guitar.
Year Released: 2001
| Record Label: Coastal
| Style: Vocal
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.