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All the Way Live

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Album Review

Strange as it seems, organist Jimmy Smith and tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris have to this date only played together once. Their recorded collaboration at San Francisco's Keystone Korner in 1981 has recently been released for the first time by Milestone on All the Way Live. Harris (who utilizes an electrified tenor) and Smith (along with drummer Kenny Dixon) jam a couple of blues, the funky "8 Counts for Rita" (which has some audience participation) and three familiar standards. The recording quality is not state-of-the-art but is certainly listenable and the high level of the playing overcomes any technical deficiencies. Essentially a hard bop stylist, Eddie Harris's brilliance and originality are sometimes hidden under his innovative use of electronics but he has long had his own sound while Jimmy Smith is the originator of his very influential style. Highlights of the date include "Autumn Leaves," "A Child Is Born" and "Old Folks" and this live set easily surpasses Smith and Harris's studio recordings of the time period. A reunion is long overdue.

Biography

Born: October 20, 1934 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Long underrated in the pantheon of jazz greats, Eddie Harris was an eclectic and imaginative saxophonist whose career was marked by a hearty appetite for experimentation. For quite some time, he was far more popular with audiences than with critics, many of whom denigrated him for his more commercially successful ventures. Harris' tastes ranged across the spectrum of black music, not all of which was deemed acceptable by jazz purists. He had the chops to handle technically demanding bop, and the...
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All the Way Live, Eddie Harris
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