Bob Harrington

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A copy of Vibraphone Fantasy in Jazz by Bob Harrington on the Imperial label would represent a find of great importance in the used record pile, setting off shock waves through the vinyl icons. The side…
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A copy of Vibraphone Fantasy in Jazz by Bob Harrington on the Imperial label would represent a find of great importance in the used record pile, setting off shock waves through the vinyl icons. The side would be especially dear to fans of modern jazz vibraphone, yet Harrington himself would have been capable of delivering the sound of an entire rhythm section if necessary, not just good vibes. He was proficient as well on piano and drums, both related to the vibraphone on the instrumental family tree. Nonetheless, Harrington's finest playing may have been as part of a band after all, not just any band but the legendary Jazzpickers featuring cellist Harry Babasin.

Harrington experienced plenty of music in his family, as his father was a violinist. The son started to become known on the jazz scene in the early '50s as a pianist for bandleader Charlie Barnet; Harrington had also studied bass in high school. He performed and recorded through the decade with Georgie Auld, Buddy DeFranco, and Vido Musso, but when working with both Red Nichols and Bud Freeman in the mid-'50s was seated behind the drums. In the latter part of the '50s he could be heard as both an accompanist and arranger for vocalist Ann Richards as well as in a straight-out swing context with magnificent tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. Harrington continued recording through 1970.