99

Allan Harris: The Songs of Strayhorn

By

Sign in to view read count
Vocalist Allan Harris has daringly chosen to record an album dedicated solely to the compositions of Billy Strayhorn. Daring because, first, lyrics to Strayhorn tunes can be difficult to successfully put across to the listener; second, because they are mainly about unrequited unfilled love and are hardly ever cheerful, and third, several lyrics on the play list are rarely heard so will be unrecognizable to everyone except the most committed Strayhorn devotees. It turns out that these are not daunting obstacles at all for Harris as this album offers an hours worth of Strayhorn done as well as one can hear. Harris' voice has a happy resemblance to that of Nat King Cole's, but with a modern bent. Happy because it means Harris is very good. He has the special way with the lyrics and with the same phrasing, timing and spacing that helped to Cole be one of the very best, ever. Some of the usual suspects on this CD include the incomparable "Lush Life" a tale of creeping dissolution done by Harris in medium tempo with some scatting both of which help to relieve some of the despair. He's back only by Ron Affif's guitar. Other familiar entries include "Just A - Sittin' and A - Rockin", "Something to Live for" and "Day Dream". On the infrequently heard side are lyrics to "My Little Brown Book". Liner notes writer Willard Jenkins quotes Harris as saying that this is the first time these lyrics have been recorded. But Al Hibbler and Gloria Lynne have recorded Strayhorn's masterpiece with words.

Harris gets strong help from his backing musicians. Eric Reed's on the mark piano and Don Braden's sax are particularly worthy of mention. Their work on "Daydream" is exceptional. It's obvious that Harris has more than mere respect for Strayhorn. Judging by the way he delivers on the material, it's outright adoration. Highly recommended.


Track Listing: Just A - Sittin' and A- Rockin; Something to Live for; My Little Brown Book; Love Came; Chelsea Bridge; Lush Life; Day Dream; Pretty Girl (The Star Crossed Lovers); Passion Flower; Oo (You Make Me Tingle); Your Love Has Faded; A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing; Lotus Blossom; Love Has Passed My By Again

Personnel: Allan Harris - Vocal; Don Braden - sax; Cecil Brooks III - Drums; Ron Affif - Guitar; Essiet Okon Essiet - Bass; Eric Reed - Piano

| Record Label: Love | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Between Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Between Brothers
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "A Cut Through The Heart" CD/LP/Track Review A Cut Through The Heart
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Zenith" CD/LP/Track Review Zenith
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Quartet 1991" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet 1991
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Yo!" CD/LP/Track Review Yo!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Mettã" CD/LP/Track Review Mettã
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!