Earl Harvin

At Gypsy Tea Room

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The Earl Harvin Trio is an unusual jazz band in a couple of ways. For one thing, the bandleader (drummer Earl Harvin) is not the primary composer. For another thing, the guy who is the group's primary composer (pianist Dave Palmer) plays an electric Fender Rhodes piano more often than an acoustic instrument. The Rhodes has a sound that most people between the ages of 25 and 40 will associate with their childhoods in the early 1970s. And for one more thing, these guys don't play standards. They play nothing but originals, with perhaps the occasional Mingus tune thrown in. This two-disc set documents two nights the group played at a club in its native Dallas, and the results will appeal to those with a taste for experimentation and lengthy expressionism. "Fyr" and "What I Want to Do to You" both clock in at over 24 minutes, and only two of the program's nine tracks last less than ten. "Eat Me" is built on a skewed but attractive funk foundation, and "The Alien" is quietly propulsive -- Fred Hamilton's bass walks quickly under Palmer's skittering piano while Harvin gently taps out time on the ride cymbal, occasionally battering out a tasteful fill. Those two 20-minute numbers get a little hard to pay attention to after a while, but most of the music here constitutes a surprisingly fresh and interesting take on the jazz tradition.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 15:40
3 12:03
4 10:49

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 11:30
2 24:42
3 18:00
4 9:09
blue highlight denotes track pick