Eddie Harris

The Tender Storm

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In a sense, this LP was really the calm before the storm, the album where Eddie Harris unveiled some new wrinkles in his act that would explode on the very next album Electrifying, while hewing tightly to a standard acoustic quartet format. Here he starts to use the Varitone amplified saxophone, albeit very discreetly, as he sticks mostly to the doubled octave effects for a suave tone that allows for some slippery swinging. While Harris' soon-to-be-distinctive funk mode is in full bloom on the opening track, "When a Man Loves a Woman," his lovely ballad form from the VeeJay days remains intact on "Berkeley Square." The support couldn't be more professional -- Cedar Walton (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Billy Higgins or Bobby Thomas (drums) -- nor the selections more conventional (contemporary and past standards, plus Harris' title track), which ought to make this a candidate for reissue in our conservative jazz climate.

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