Barry Harris' debut Argo session captures a uniquely soulful interpretation of bop sensibilities. Light yet commanding, Breakin' It Up moves from strength to strength, belying the pianist's relative youth and inexperience. Paired with bassist William Austin and drummer Frank Gant, Harris dispenses with frills, paring familiar melodies like "Ornithology" and "All the Things You Are" to their absolute essentials. The overall approach is far more straight-ahead than his subsequent efforts, yet his signature melodic ingenuity is firmly in place. Breakin' It Up was reissued on CD by Jazz Beat in a two-fer alongside Burnin', recorded a day later under the leadership of saxophonist Sonny Stitt.
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny