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High Voltage (Recorded Live at the Village Gate in New York)

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Eddie Harris’ first live album for Atlantic features the electric saxophonist leading his regular quartet in two different settings, one from each coast. “The Children’s Song and “Is There a Place For Us” were taped in October 1968 at Shelley’s Manne-Hole in Hollywood, while the rest of the songs were recorded at the Village Gate in Manhattan on April 19, 1969. At this time, you couldn’t do much better than catch Harris at such a club. He represented a touch of everything that was going on in 1969: A bit of rubbery funk blended with Coltrane-influenced jazz, blended with a pinch of psychedelia. Most crucially, Harris believed at this time that everything he played in a club should be danceable. He worked with a muscular rhythm section featuring Melvin Jackson on bass and either Billy Hart or Richard Smith on drums. Captured in organic detail by Tom Dowd’s microphones, there isn’t a bad performance here, and the woozy soundscape of “The Children’s Song” is a particular pleasure. However, the key tracks are undoubtedly “Movin’ On Out,” “Funky Doo” and “Listen Here,” in which Jackson’s bass wiggles within the rhythm like a frisky python.

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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High Voltage (Recorded Live at the Village Gate in New York), Eddie Harris
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  • $3.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1969

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