Archive for the Gene HARRIS Category

Gene HARRIS Quartet – Listen Here! 1989

Posted in Gene HARRIS, JAZZ on November 29, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Gene HARRIS Quartet – Listen Here! 1989

Jazz

Although often associated with the blues, only one of the ten selections on this quartet set by pianist Gene Harris (who is joined by guitarist Ron Eschete, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jeff Hamilton) is technically a blues. On this excellent all-around showcase for the soulful pianist, Harris sounds in prime form exploring such tunes as “This Masquerade,” “Don’t Be That Way,” Eddie Harris’ “Listen Here,” and “The Song Is Ended.” Listen Here! gives listeners a pretty definitive look at Gene Harris’ accessible and swinging style.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
**
After rigorous touring and recording as a member of the Ray Brown Trio, and on the heels of a Grammy nomination for his own acclaimed big band recording Tribute to Count Basie, Gene Harris entered the studio to lead this tour de force quartet session. Adding guitarist Ron Escheté to the already awe-inspiring lineup of the working Ray Brown Trio unit (Brown, Harris and drummer Jeff Hamilton), Gene Harris instantly found the quartet to be the perfect configuration in which to communicate his one-of-a-kind, steeped-in-the-blues, jazz piano artistry (and the configuration in which the pianist would work most throughout the remainder of his life). In the first of what would be a whole series of inspired and influential Gene Harris Quartet recordings on the Concord Jazz label, Listen Here is quintessential Gene Harris. Now on SACD, the swinging zing of this landmark Harris recording is revealed with breath-taking clarity.
**
Gene Harris- Piano
Ron Eschete- Guitar
Ray Brown- Bass
Jeff Hamilton – Drums
**
01. The Masquerade 6:22
02. Don’t Be That Way 3:51
03. I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling 6:39
04. Listen Here 4:57
05. This Can’t Be Love 3:49
06. To You 5:36
07. Blues For Jezebel 5:07
08. Sweet And Lovely 5:56
09. Lullabye 5:50
10. The Song Is Ended 4:58
**

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Gene HARRIS & Jack McDUFF – Down Home Blues 1996

Posted in Gene HARRIS, Jack McDUFF, JAZZ on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Gene HARRIS & Jack McDUFF – Down Home Blues 1996

Jazz

Having shared some gospel space on parts of Gene Harris’ In His Hands, Harris and Brother Jack McDuff take the next step and move heavily into the blues on this one, assisted by Ron Eschete on guitar, Luther Hughes on bass, and savvy veteran Paul Humphrey on drums. Harris clearly has the edge on vitality on these sessions; while he can still build up the blues rhetoric to a convincingly shouting climax, McDuff frankly sounds tired and out of gas on “J&G Blues” and several other numbers. Quite often, though, it is Eschete who comes up with the tastiest solos on this disc, and Gene’s daughter Niki and Curtis Stigers help out on soul vocals on several tracks. There are also a couple of non-blues standards, “Time After Time” and “You Don’t Know What Love Is”; McDuff’s mellow, Leslie-treated Hammond B-3 lead on the latter tune is his most soulful contribution on the album.
By Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide.
**
This album helps you understand the difference between mere ‘playing blues’ and ‘playing the blues’. Gene Harris and Jack Mc Duff (and the other the musicians on the album) play the blues with a great jazzy feel and with a clear love for this great music. Also, the album gives you one of the finest examples of Hammond B-3 playing that I know. In McDuff’s playing you really hear the machine working and blowing, especially in the slow and delicate ‘You don’t know what love is’.
This album is an abslolute ‘must have’ if you love the blues. I have bought it for myself and I am now buying it for my father!
By Flame.
**
The deep, soulful blues that these two masters and their supporting cast lay down is as rich with tradition and groove as the title suggests. Upon listening, it’s hard to believe this is the first time the two have collaborated on such a project. Dripping with taste and finesse, their playing styles compliment each other so well it would seem this has been a lifelong partnership.
Exploring both instrumental and vocal blues mediums (with the help of vocalists Niki Harris and Curtis Stigers), Harris’s piano and McDuff’s B-3 swing and sway through nine tracks of standards and originals. From the very traditional “Down Home Blues” and “Stormy Monday” to the funky “Smack Dab In The Middle,” the groove remains upbeat and constant. The lightly swinging “Time After Time” and the delicate “You Don’t Know What Love Is” prove to be superb interpretations of these classics. Hefty contributions by guitarist Ron Eschete, drummer Paul Humphrey and bassist Luther Hughes complete the groove to make this disc one of the best marriages of jazz and traditional blues around.
**
Gene Harris- (Piano)
Jack McDuff- (Hammond B-3 Organ)
Ron Eschete- (Guitar)
Luther Hughes- (Bass)
Paul Humphrey- (Drums)
Curtis Stigers- (Vocals) (#4,5)
Niki Harris- (Vocals) (#1,8)
**
01. Down Home Blues (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:00
02. J & G Blues Brother (Jack McDuff) 9:33
03. Soft Winds (Gene Harris) 7:53
04. Time After Time (Brother (Jack McDuff) 4:45
05. Blues For Big Foot (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:26
06. Smack Dab In The Middle (Brother Jack McDuff) 5:50
07. You Don’t Know What Love Is (Brother Jack McDuff) 5:01
08. Stormy Monday (Brother Jack McDuff) 4:50
09. Cayenne Blues (Brother Jack McDuff) 7:17
**

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