Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Barry HARRIS Trio - Plays Tadd Dameron & Thelonious Monk 1975

Barry HARRIS Trio - Plays Tadd Dameron & Thelonious Monk 1975


One of the major bop pianists of the last half of the 20th century, Barry Harris has long had the ability to sound very close to Bud Powell, yet he can also do convincing impressions of Thelonious Monk and has his own style within the bop idiom. He was an important part of the Detroit jazz scene of the 1950s, and has been a jazz educator since that era. Harris recorded his first set as a leader while in 1958, and moved to New York in 1960, where he spent a short period with Cannonball Adderley's Quintet. He also recorded with Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef, and Hank Mobley, and was with Coleman Hawkins off and on throughout the decade (including Hawk's declining years). In the 1970s, Harris was on two of Sonny Stitt's finest records (Tune Up and Constellation), and made many recordings in a variety of settings for Xanadu. Barry Harris has mostly worked with his trio since the mid-'70s, and he has recorded as a leader for Argo (1958), Riverside, Prestige, MPS, Xanadu, and Red.

Barry Harris, arguably the top bebop pianist of the 1970s, '80s and '90s, was particularly in prime form throughout his Xanadu recordings. The perfect player to interpret Tadd Dameron's music (of which he had full understanding), Harris performs eight of the influential composer's songs on this 1975 album with bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Leroy Williams. Highlights of the highly recommended (but probably difficult-to-find) set include "Hot House," "The Chase," "Casbah" and "Our Delight."
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Two overlooked 70's gems from Barry Harris, both of them trio dates based around famous jazz composers! First up are 8 tracks in which Barry Harris stretches out wonderfully in a set of compositions by Tadd Dameron -- most of them familiar jazz standards from a few decades before, transformed magically by Harris in a hip 70s piano trio mode! The group here features Gene Taylor on bass and Leroy Williams on drums -- both of whom work nicely with Barry's newly discovered sweetness at the time -- an approach that's sometimes a bit warmer than his work in the 60s, and which helps make these tunes stand out in newly sensitive readings. Titles include The Tadd Walk, Lady Bird, Casbah, Our Delight, Soultrane, The Chase, and Hot House.
Next up are 5 more tracks penned by Thelonious Monk, and played by Harris with a trio that includes Bill Lee on bass and Leroy Williams on drums! Harris hits the right angular modes to make Monk's music come alive, but also warms them up with a bit more sensitivity too -- slight colorings in his choice of tone, and an almost more personal feel on some of the numbers, even when taken at a fast clip. Titles include Epistrophy, In Walked Bud, 52nd Street Theme, and Light Blue. CD also features a solo version of Pannonica from 1984, and a reading of All God's Chillun Got Rhythm from 1978 -- recorded live in Montreux with Sam Jones on bass and Leroy Williams on drums.
From Dusty Groove.
Released as Barry Harris plays Tadd Dameron (Xanadu) on LP. Also released by Prevue label on CD.
New York, June 4, 1975.

01. Hot House 4:33
02. Soultrane 5:41
03. The Chase 5:09
04. Lady Bird 5:05
05. Casbah 8:25
06. If You Could See Me Now 5:30
07. The Tadd Walk 3:38
08. Our Delight 4:17

New York, November 3-5, 1977.
Tracks 09-12 released on VVAA - I Remember Bebop (columbia) , tw0 lp's with new material (not a compilation from other releases)
Track 13 from same session, but not released on these two lp's
Plays the Music of Thelonious Monk
BILL LEE, bass

09. Epistrophy 3:19
10. In Walked Bud 3:45
11. 52nd Street Theme 2:55
12. Ruby My Dear 3:53
13. Light Blue 2:31
14. Pannonica 6:03
15. All God’s Chillun’ Got Rhythm 5:59


  1. I'm not sure if you'll get this or not, but I wanted to thank you for this great share. I'm going through a big Dr. Barry Harris thing right now and I was thrilled when I found this here. I hope your new blog is doing well.

  2. this album is so hard to find, any chance of a re-up?? thanks!