Philip Morris All-Stars Live

Gene Harris

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Philip Morris All-Stars Live Review

by Scott Yanow

Philip Morris All-Stars Live is a fun release that is both accessible and reasonably creative within the swing/bop idiom. Pianist Gene Harris heads an all-star band of veterans which also includes trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, guitarist Kenny Burrell, bassist George Mraz and drummer Lewis Nash. Everyone has a chance to be featured. "Bags' Groove" and "Cottontail" have solos by all the principals, with the always-soulful Harris taking honors. "I Wish I Knew" has long been Edison's feature. 79 at the time of this 1995 concert, the trumpeter is heard in better than usual form for this late period. Burrell digs into a medley of "Star Crossed Lovers" and "Take the 'A' Train," while Turrentine blazes his way through "Time After Time." Guest vocalist Ernie Andrews has a couple of lengthy blues medleys, including one on which he effectively imitates Charles Brown, Jimmy Rushing and Al Hibbler. Although a fairly typical show, the enthusiasm of the musicians plus their highly individual sounds make this a CD well worth picking up.

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