Bill Harris | Invitation

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Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Bill Harris

Classic Mainstream Jazz Trio and quintet with piano, bass, drums and tracks with added saxophone and trumpet
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Billy's Dilemma (feat. Rick Harris, Bruce Swaim, David Jernigan & Tony Martucci)
Bill Harris
6:38 $0.99
2. Guido's Lament (feat. Rick Harris, Bruce Swaim, David Jernigan & Tony Martucci)
Bill Harris
7:54 $0.99
3. Invitation (feat. David Jernigan & Tony Martucci)
Bill Harris
6:40 $0.99
4. Bye Bye Blackbird (feat. David Jernigan & Tony Martucci)
Bill Harris
8:20 $0.99
5. I Fall in Love Too Easily
Bill Harris, David Jernigan, Tony Martucci
5:52 $0.99
6. Blues for DJ
Bill Harris, Rick Harris, David Jernigan, Bruce Swaim, Tony Martucci
6:17 $0.99
7. For Elyse
Bill Harris, Rick Harris, David Jernigan, Bruce Swaim, Tony Martucci
7:46 $0.99
8. Somers Delight
Bill Harris, David Jernigan,Tony Martucci
3:14 $0.99
9. On Green Dolphin Street
Bill Harris, David Jernigan,Tony Martucci
7:36 $0.99
10. Old Folks
Bill Harris, David Jernigan,Tony Martucci
4:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
As the first formal recording session for Bill Harris, this disc will serve as an introduction to the talents of a dynamic and unmistakingly promising artist. Having heard Bill’s subtle and profound evolution as a player over the last 15 years, I can’t tell you how proud I am to be able to introduce the first of what I’m certain will be many sessions for Mr. Harris and his friends.

Drummer Tony Martucci’s tom introduces “Billy's Dilemma”, the catchy, up-tempo opener which captures the listener and says, “Remember the great Blue Note dates of the 1960s”? Composed by the leader, the tune pays homage to a friend and jazz lover who lives in New York as well as to anyone who has straddled the horns of a dilemma.

“Guido’s Lament” is another fine quintet offering, this time featuring an original composition by the talented Rick Harris (who is also Bill’s brother). In this beautiful ballad I particularly love Rick’s exquisite use of counterpoint. And although it is a pleasure to hear Bill comp behind the beautiful solos of Rick and tenor monster Bruce Swaim, it is even more exciting to hear him construct one of his own. This solo on “Guido’s Lament” is vintage Bill Harris... subtle, clear and bursting with originality.

The Blue Note reverie of the first two tunes is broken dramatically as the listener is introduced to the Bill Harris Trio. With a bold intro driven by the bass of David Jernigan and punctuated by Tony Martucci’s tasty lead drumming,
we finally identify the lilting melody of the Kaper / Webster classic “Invitation”. In this innovative arrangement all three players sparkle and it is evident that they are having fun... which is what it is all about.

“Bye-bye Blackbird” opens at a relaxing tempo and seems the perfect tune to follow the up-tempo title track “Invitation”. While this delightful tune has experienced a revival since Miles Davis’ passing, it has long been a staple of Bill’s repertoire. Evidenced by the hard swinging of the band, “the dance between musicians” develops and the fun continues.

“I Fall In Love Too Easily” is one of my favorite ballads. Bill’s introduction here highlights some of his strengths as a pianist. In this instance he takes us on a brief impressionistic journey before delivering the cogent melody. This is Bill’s tune and the listener can’t but hear the passion in his playing.

“Blues for DJ"; another piece by Rick, reintroduces the quintet, whom we haven’t heard from since “Guido’s Lament”. This is a straight, clean blues number which announces that the horns are back in the house.

“For Elyse, is just that , a love song written by Bill for his beautiful and loving wife, Elyse. The fabulous Harris boys jointly state the theme in characteristically clear and simple fashion. Rick’s solo gives us a clinic in spacing and phrasing followed by the date leader’s lovely and lucid statement addressed directly to his wife. Mr. Swaim exhibits superb playing and breath control in a particularly compelling solo. As always, David and Tony lend a balanced, tasteful support.

The trio returns with another Bill Harris original ‘Somers’ Delight”. In this piece you will hear an interesting and playfully developed impro¬visation between the players before the theme is finally stated at the very end.

Now comes the Kaper / Washington classic “On Green Dolphin Street”. Listening to the haunting introduction, it is unlikely that any listener will be thinking of Green Dolphin Street. Maybe Kutchakhachov Street in Moscow ... or maybe a movie score ... but definitely something exotic. After Bill’s brilliant intro, the tune moves into a hard swinging tempo that showcases the trio’s spontaneity before transitioning back to a close in the same lyrical/pensive way it started. Can you tell this cut is my personal favorite?

The session concludes with a cohesive version of “Old Folks", a classic that is a fitting end to a very fine recording.

Everyone who contributed to this outstanding musical effort should be pleased with the quality and consistency of the result. It is rare to be able to bring together five outstanding players who share such a clear musical vision. I hope all of you enjoy the music as much as I do.

A.J. Collins



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