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Bill Harris | Encompass Quartet

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United States - Washington DC

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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Encompass Quartet

by Bill Harris

A classic jazz quartet with piano, bass, drums and tenor saxophone that swings hard in the mainstream, post bop and cool traditions. Think of late 1950s to early mid 1960s with beautiful played melodies and harmonies.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Eronel
6:53 $0.99
2. Mph
5:47 $0.99
3. Lament
7:13 $0.99
4. What Is This Thing Called Love
3:52 $0.99
5. Virgo
5:35 $0.99
6. Daddy Digs In
6:27 $0.99
7. I Just Dropped By to Say Hello
6:51 $0.99
8. Somers' Delight
5:18 $0.99
9. Mama Lela
4:45 $0.99
10. Con Alma
6:36 $0.99
11. I Mean You
5:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Assembling the Encompass Quartet was a "labor of love" for me. I have known Bill Harris and Albert "Tootie" Heath for 20 years. While they had never played together, they knew the other's work and since bassist Tom Baldwin and Bill had been playing together for years, the rhythm section was set. Mr. Heath said he had the perfect tenor man and brought Herman Riley back to DC with him.
The musicians met in DC for a two night engagement at one of DC's most intimate jazz rooms. Playing before a full house of jazz lovers and discerning musicians, the gig proved to be all the practice the guys needed. The quartet "burned up the room" according to one review. Piano legend Stanley Cowell caught one of the sets and jokingly told Bill Harris: "No more lessons for you or I'll lose gigs." It REALLY was that good.
Sunday morning, we packed up Tootie's drum kit, Tom's bass and Herman's horns and set out for Warm Valley Studios hoping to capture some of the chemistry from the live gig. Completed in one take, I assure you that the chemistry is there!
Tootie Heath is indisputably one of jazz's finest drummers. Having played with Coltrane, Rollins, Wes Montgomery, the Heath Brothers or MJQ (to name just a few), Tootie is respected as a "musical" jazz drummer who swings with impeccable time. He is a rare talent and a joyful, exuberant man.
Bill Harris has been one of my closest friends for more than two decades. Watching him evolve as a jazz pianist has been exciting and Tootie Heath said "Bill is an exciting pianist who plays with clarity and musical sense, which is rare in this era of piano players who overplay."
I met both Herman Riley and Tom Baldwin for the first time on this date. Both are quiet, unassuming players who let their music speak for them. If you don't know Herman's sound, this recording will help you understand why he has been a "first call" tenor man for the likes of Count Basie, Etta James, Blue Mitchell and organist Jimmy Smith. Herman's full, soulful sound and his two original compositions ("MPH" and "Mama Lela") are among the highlights of this date.
Tom Baldwin, a finalist in the Monk Competition a few years ago, is an outstanding bassist who anchored the rhythm section on this record. Tootie Heath said "Tom has an incredible beat, good time and rhythm and it was both easy and a pleasure to play with him." High praise indeed.
The musicians decided the set list and, with two exceptions, every tune was done in one take with very little mixing required. There is truly something for everyone on this record: Herman's and Bill's originals, two of Thelonious Monk's hippest tunes, beautiful ballads, standards and a "New Orleans March"

I am pleased to introduce to you Encompass Quartet. I hope you savor the flavor of this music as much as I do.

A.J. Collins



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