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Down Home Blues

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Album Review

Having shared some gospel space on parts of Gene Harris' In His Hands, Harris and Brother Jack McDuff take the next step and move heavily into the blues on this one, assisted by Ron Eschete on guitar, Luther Hughes on bass, and savvy veteran Paul Humphrey on drums. Harris clearly has the edge on vitality on these sessions; while he can still build up the blues rhetoric to a convincingly shouting climax, McDuff frankly sounds tired and out of gas on "J&G Blues" and several other numbers. Quite often, though, it is Eschete who comes up with the tastiest solos on this disc, and Gene's daughter Niki and Curtis Stigers help out on soul vocals on several tracks. There are also a couple of non-blues standards, "Time After Time" and "You Don't Know What Love Is"; McDuff's mellow, Leslie-treated Hammond B-3 lead on the latter tune is his most soulful contribution on the album. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

The "Album Review"

I buy music regularly from iTunes but have NEVER written a review. Because the "Album Review" posted is SO FAR OFF THE MARK
I felt like I had to put in my two cents.

First off - Gene Harris is without a doubt the finest pianist I have ever heard. And I've sat on stage with Oscar Peterson
and a number of other of the world's top keyboardists. He is at the top of his game on "Down Home Blues" - playing
with his usual brilliant sensibility, improvisational genius and goose-bump makin' blues/soul/jazz. I'd advise any aspiring
musician to purchase as much Gene Harris recordings as possible and woodshed with them no matter what instrument they play.

Brother Jack McDuff - who I shared the stage with for four years - plays IMPECCABLE on this Cd. To say that he sounds
"tired and out of gas" is insane in my opinion. The combination of B3 and acoustic piano is a difficult balancing act. Brother
Jack allows Gene to shine when appropriate and kicks butt when necessary on "Down Home Blues." It's his taste, humility,
and GREAT ensemble sense that make him relax here. Jack taught me something priceless. He used to say, "when in
doubt, lay out." This was a Gene Harris recording date and McDuff (who was 70 when this was recorded) had enuff maturity
to give an amazing musician like Gene the proper respect in the studio.

As for guitarist Ron Eschete: he's a good player but I'll bet you he'd be the first to say that he was humbled to be
included on this recording. It's factually NOT the case that Ron comes up with the "tastiest solos" on this disc. It's more that
the ensemble players enrich his solos so eloquently that Ron's playing is elevated. I mean this with all due respect and I bet
that Ron would agree.

BUY THIS CD. You'll be glad you did.


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
Down Home Blues, Gene Harris
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Sep 11, 1997

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