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Album Review

Ever since Charlie "Bird" Parker's influential Charlie Parker With Strings sessions of 1949-1950, jazz artists have been anxious to work with string players — that is, if they have the budget. Typically, a jazz-with-strings session will emphasize standards, but there isn't a standard to be found on Tom Harrell's strings-minded Paradise. Devoted entirely to Harrell's own compositions, Paradise is far from a run-of-the-mill jazz-with-strings date. The lyrical trumpeter doesn't use strings to give himself more pop appeal, but rather, incorporates elements of chamber music. And he isn't actually backed by a full-fledged string orchestra, although Harrell does employ up to six string players on some of the material (along with a rhythm section). Most of the selections are best described as "post-bop with classical overtones"; this is true of the dramatic "Baroque Steps" as well as the dreamy "Nighttime" and the optimistic "Morning Prayer, Pt. 2." Listeners may notice that two of the CD's more optimistic pieces, "Morning Prayer, Pt. 2" and "Daybreak," have a start-of-the-new-day theme — Harrell is obviously equating a new day with renewed hope and optimism. In addition to bringing classical overtones to his post-bop foundation, Harrell incorporates Latin elements at times — mostly Brazilian, but some Afro-Cuban influence asserts itself as well. Although not quite essential, Paradise is a rewarding album that Harrell can easily be proud of.


Born: 16 June 1946 in Urbana, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A first-rate trumpet soloist, generally considered by many musicians to be the top hard bop trumpeter of the 1980s and '90s, Tom Harrell has performed in a distinguished fashion for several bandleaders. His style mixes together the power of Clifford Brown with the lyricism of Chet Baker. Harrell grew up in Northern California and toured with Stan Kenton (1969), Woody Herman (1970-1971), and Horace Silver (1973-1977). He moved to New York in the mid-'70s, and played during this period with Cecil Payne,...
Full bio
Paradise, Tom Harrell
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 08 May 2001

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