Gene Harris

The Best of the Concord Years

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

In a musical career that spanned over 50 years, Gene Harris played on more than 80 recordings and shared the stage with such giants of jazz as Joe Williams, Stanley Turrentine, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, and Ray Brown. During 1985-1999, his Concord Years, Harris recorded over 25 albums and CDs. This compilation captures the much-heralded pianist in live settings and studio sessions, having the time of his life on songs most loved by his audiences. From the start on the bebop narrative of "Uptown Sop," with Stanley Turrentine doing the tenor sax honors, Ray Brown on bass, and Mickey Roker on drums, Harris takes hold and doesn't let go. His infamous rendition of "Summertime," colorized with the blues, boogie-woogie, and his infamous left-hand strides, is included for your enjoyment and this live version is one you'll surely cherish. "Crème de Menthe," "Blues for Rhonda," and "Old Funky Gene's" are also included on this great two-disc set that comes complete with 22-selective representations of his bluesy phrasings -- sets with his Philip Morris Superband, swing and stride numbers, and demonstrations of jazzed-up ragtime. The jazz world can thank its lucky stars that these gems have been preserved for posterity sake since Harris' considerable skill as a pianist has always been overshadowed due to his residence outside of the prominent jazz cities. However, the songs on this album should solidify the creative spirit of the great Gene Harris in the chronicles of jazz forever.

blue highlight denotes track pick