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Album Review

Altoist Donald Harrison's disc utilizes New Orleans parade rhythms on all of the selections, even while most of the solos (until the final three numbers) are more hard bop than New Orleans jazz. John O'Neal verbally pays tribute to the rhythms on the opening "And How That Rhythm." The other selections include an augmented bop blues ("Two Way Pocky Way"), the tricky "Don't Drink the Water," Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya," a pair of Freddie Hubbard tunes well worth reviving ("Crisis" and "Bob's Place"), Sonny Rollins' "Oleo," and the catchy "Spirits of Congo Square." Throughout these performances there are many colorful solos from trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Marlon Jordan, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, Victor Goines on tenor, and Harrison. Roy Haynes' "True of False" is Dixieland-ish in its own eccentric way, with clarinetist Louis Ford and trumpeter Jamil Sharif being added to the band. Finally, Payton plays beautifully on a respectful rendition of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and all seven horns romp and riff throughout "The Second Line," which is really "Joe Avery's Blues." Overall, this colorful album is full of spirit, always holds on to one's interest, and is highly recommended.


Born: 23 June 1960 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

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

Donald Harrison, Jr. (who is also known as Big Chief Donald Harrison of Congo Nation) is a celebrated jazz saxophonist, composer, and educator who resides both in New Orleans and New York City. Born in New Orleans on June 23, 1960, Harrison is the son of the late Donald Harrison, Sr., a legendary New Orleans folklorist and, during his lifetime, the Big Chief of four different NOLA tribes. The younger Harrison began his education at the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and studied...
Full Bio
Spirits of Congo Square, Donald Harrison Jr.
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  • $18.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2000

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