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Instant Party

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Album Review

Instant Party is essentially a single-disc best-of compilation featuring some of the more uptempo highlights from pianist Gene Harris' long stay at the Concord Jazz label. Harris recorded for Concord from 1985 until 1999 (he died early in 2000), and his stay amounted to both a revival and a fruitful autumnal capstone to his long career. A fluid and soulful player, Harris brought a hint of the blues to everything he touched, and the selection here is no exception. From the light jazz-funk of the opener, "Old Funky Gene's," to the rapid and seemingly effortless piano runs of "Listen Here," which features the great Ray Brown on bass, Harris develops his own blue version of soul-jazz. Tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine joins Harris and Brown on Brown's own "Uptown Sop," one of the clear highlights of the set. Other high points include the tight and controlled groove of Harris' rendition of Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder" and a version of Bobbie Gentry's surprisingly flexible "Ode to Billie Joe." Instant Party works well as a quick and breezy introduction to this fine musician, but listeners looking for a little more balanced overview of this phase of his career should check out the two-disc The Best of the Concord Years.

Customer Reviews

a G.H. fan

Harris is a "God" on the keyboard! Every cut on this album is fantastic.

Just sell the songs individually!

Sweet Geoargia Brown is wonderful. The rest are mediocre imo...which makes me all the more angrier that they only sell the one I want if you purchase the entire album. Not gonna happen.

Good stuff

Real nice upbeat.


Born: September 1, 1933 in Benton Harbor, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

One of the most accessible of all jazz pianists, Gene Harris' soulful style (influenced by Oscar Peterson and containing the blues-iness of a Junior Mance) was immediately likable and predictably excellent. After playing in an Army band (1951-1954), he formed a trio with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy which was, by 1956, known as the Three Sounds. The group was quite popular, and recorded regularly during 1956-1970 for Blue Note and Verve. Although the personnel changed and the music...
Full Bio
Instant Party, Gene Harris
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Customer Ratings

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