Barry Harris

Live from New York, Vol. 1

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AllMusic Review by

Barry Harris is in great form in this live set from the Fat Cat in New York City. Harris is accompanied by the Lineage label's house bassist, John Webber, along with drummer Leroy Williams. Much of the music has a Latin undercurrent, and there are many standards, including a lively midtempo interpretation of the old warhorse "Star Eyes" and oldies like "Tea for Two" and "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm." The crowd-quieting "Everything Happens to Me" is also a highlight. Harris also covers a lot of gems from the bop era: a driving take of Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody 'n You," an intense take of "A Night in Tunisia," and the relatively obscure Bud Powell tune "No Name Blues." He sets up Juan Tizol's "Perdido" by building the tension, skirting around its opening theme in an exciting performance. Wrapping this initial volume is Harris' well-known composition "Nascimento" (dedicated to the Latin percussionist Milton Nascimento), which begins in a surprisingly subdued fashion before the pianist gets the audience clapping along and fully engaged, though this track includes an unidentified guitarist and is abruptly faded as well. The engineering on this live date is first-rate, though a sticking piano pedal is slightly distracting on some of the ballads.

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