Jimmy Smith / Eddie Harris

All the Way Live

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Strange as it seems, organist Jimmy Smith and tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris have to this date only played together once. Their recorded collaboration at San Francisco's Keystone Korner in 1981 has recently been released for the first time by Milestone on All the Way Live. Harris (who utilizes an electrified tenor) and Smith (along with drummer Kenny Dixon) jam a couple of blues, the funky "8 Counts for Rita" (which has some audience participation) and three familiar standards. The recording quality is not state-of-the-art but is certainly listenable and the high level of the playing overcomes any technical deficiencies. Essentially a hard bop stylist, Eddie Harris's brilliance and originality are sometimes hidden under his innovative use of electronics but he has long had his own sound while Jimmy Smith is the originator of his very influential style. Highlights of the date include "Autumn Leaves," "A Child Is Born" and "Old Folks" and this live set easily surpasses Smith and Harris's studio recordings of the time period. A reunion is long overdue.

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