Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gene Harris - Another Night in London (Resonance, 2009)

Blues, bop and ballads are the order of the day on this swinging archival release with pianist Gene Harris joined by his "British Group," consisting of Jim Mullen on guitar, Adam Cleyndert on bass and Martin Drew on drums. Mullen in particular is a wonder, comping behind the piano and stepping out for stinging and soulful solos of his own. Recorded live at the Pizza Express, the music has a warm and engaging energy to it. Opening with "Sweet Georgia Brown," the music has a genial playfulness that slowly develops into a swinging blues drenched full band improvisation. Things are also kept at a brisk tempo on the Gershwin standard "Lady Be Good" and "Georgia on My Mind" are propelled by swift and agile support from the bass and drums team. This was a solid and consistently engaging live performance. Fans of Harris's work with The Three Sounds will find much to enjoy here, with well played and accessible mainstream jazz. He builds using the basic blocks of modern jazz, filtered through the influence of full bodied pianists of thepast like Errol Garner and Art Tatum. Another Night in London - amazon.com

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