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  1. #1

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    In honor of his life, I thought it might be fun to create a thread solely focused on recordings of Barry we love. There's so much focus on his teaching, sometimes I think his wonderful recorded output takes a backseat!

    I'll start with a slightly off the beaten path record I stumbled on very early in my jazz listening days--this was the first place I think I really heard Barry, or rather took note of his name. This tune is a straight up bop romp on the changes of Deep Purple, and it's just excellent.


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  3. #2

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    Not available here...

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Not available here...
    Ah, dang it. It's the tune Beepdurple, of Carmell Jones' "Jay Hawk Talk." Great record, worth looking for.

  5. #4

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    I'll begin with a burning live take of Bud Powell's 'Oblivion' from 1985!


  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I'll start with a slightly off the beaten path record I stumbled on very early in my jazz listening days--this was the first place I think I really heard Barry, or rather took note of his name. This tune is a straight up bop romp on the changes of Deep Purple, and it's just excellent.

    That’s just top shelf stuff.

  7. #6

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    One of my favourite albums is Barry's 'At The Jazz Workshop'. I'm fortunate to have had Barry sign my vinyl copy on his last London visit in 2018.

    The opening tune is 'Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby'


  8. #7

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    One of my favourite Barry Harris originals is 'Burgundy', which I've heard quite a few people play.

    Here's a 1995 recording by guitarist Roni Ben-Hur (himself a former student and in turn a great teacher) with Barry's working trio.


  9. #8

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    Keep 'em coming, y'all...I'm going to make a nice playlist to enjoy with some wine tonight.

  10. #9

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    Copying and pasting here a great Twitter thread from the finest music writer Mark Stryker as it includes some terrific musical selections and commentary:

    1. The Sage and Soul of Detroit and The Conscience of JazzMy obituary for maestro Barry Harris has posted at
    https://www.npr.org/2021/12/08/1062389633/barry-harris-beloved-jazz-pianist-devoted-to-bebop-dies-at-91?t=1638992599176

    What follows is an annotated playlist of recordings & videos. As always, the music survives. It's all here: Truth and Beauty.


    2 “Hopper Topper,” 1950. Barry’s debut record. “Cherokee” changes with no theme. Striking confidence for a 20-year-old. The even attack, precise beat & jabbing left hand remind me of Horace Silver. The young Frank Foster comes directly out of Sonny Stitt.





  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Ah, dang it. It's the tune Beepdurple, of Carmell Jones' "Jay Hawk Talk." Great record, worth looking for.
    Thanks - I'll try to find it...

  12. #11

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    3 “All The Things You Are" (1958). Will Austin/Frank Gant. Barry’s first LP as a leader opens w/ a ballad at a walking tempo. Improvised curtains of lovely double-time melody. All-Detroit trio, produced for Argo in Chicago by another Detroiter, Dave Usher.


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  14. #13

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    4 "Lolita" (1960) from "At the Jazz Workshop," an iconic record among pianists. Sam Jones/Louis Hayes. Cannonball's rhythm section. Barry’s maturity is now in full flower. The whole LP kills. Dig the solo break, the fluidity, swing and expressive phrasing.


  15. #14

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    5 “Del Sasser” (1960) w/Cannonball at Newport. Holy shit! Cannonball sounds great, especially in the tag, but Barry wipes everybody out with insanely long-breathed lines, drive and flow. Even at this blazing tempo he never gets bottled up. Nat/Jones/Hayes.


  16. #15

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    6 “Ascension” (1961). Solo piano. Bebop purity at its most swinging & sublime. Perfect time & enunciation. Barry’s tune descends from “Parisian Thoroughfare” w/ an altered bridge descending mostly by whole steps. The rubato verse winks at “Tea for Two.”


  17. #16

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    7 “Stay Right With It" (1962). Bob Cranshaw/Clifford Jarvis. The blues. Nobody swings at this tempo like Barry. He’s really TALKING, slapping the syncopated beat back and forth for 12 choruses w/ Jarvis' ride cymbal and snare. The essence of the art form.


  18. #17

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    Thad Jones' 'Thedia' from 1956 is a low-key take on 'How High the Moon' (I think). I like Barry's mix of a light touch and pure bop on it:


    Jimmy Heath's 1975 recording of 'CTA' with Barry, Sam Jones, and Billy Higgins has a can't-miss formula (unless someone was really drunk) of great tune and players. (Jimmy Heath said the tune was named for a certain Connie Teresa Ang, not the Chicago Transit Authority.)


    Sonny Red's 'Moon River' from 1960 (with Grant Green) has more bop sparks from Barry and Jimmy Cobb than one might expect.


    In his 1991 Maybeck recital, the medley that goes from a Bill Evans-y 'It Never Entered My Mind' into a gentle stride version of the 'Flintstones' theme is fun.


    Finally, Barry plays a nice version of his own tune 'Nascimento' as a duet with Dave Young on bass. Almost feels like a percussionist present, there's so much groove.


    Oh, heck, the other duet with Dave Young is great too. Love the sound of Barry's Piano here. His early-career stuff didn't always feature him with a tuned or well-recorded piano.

  19. #18

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    8 “The Sidewinder" (1963). Barry is too much the bebop purist to be the ideal pianist for Lee Morgan's proto-boogaloo hit, but Bob Cranshaw remembers Barry in the studio saying he was gonna play as funky as he could. The piano vamp sells the song.


  20. #19

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    Here's another one I love. This record has the SAUCE. Trying to find the whole record to post, Barry's not featured here, but still kills it.


    edit: got it


  21. #20

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    9 “Luminescence!” (1967). Pepper/Slide/Cook/Cranshaw/ McBrowne. Title track from Barry's best LP with horns. His take on “How High the Moon" changes. High spirits from everyone — Slide! — with Barry batting clean-up & hitting it out of the park.


  22. #21

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    10 Tremendous ballad playing, real storytelling, and an intro that's a song all on its own. Barry & Monk were close, living together at Nica’s house in Weehawken for a decade. Barry plays Monk w/ utmost respect but still delivers his own personality. 1976


  23. #22

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    11 "Symphonic Blues Suite: Third Movement” (1970). Wild stuff. At 2:42, Barry improvises Messiaen-like fragments (!) in the balcony of the piano, the closest this lifelong bebopper came to the avant-garde. He brings it back home with a soulful slow blues.


  24. #23

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    12 “Ray’s Idea" (1972) from Sonny Stitt's masterpiece "Constellation." Sam Jones/Roy Brooks. Supreme distillation of the bebop language. Barry's comping gooses the action & his 32 bars ring w/truth. Who needs a zillion choruses when you can say it in one?


  25. #24

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    13 “Renaissance” (1972). Duvivier/Leroy Williams. One of Barry’s best LPs, "Vicissitudes" is loaded w/ his intriguing originals, including this beguiling exercise in minor-key bebop. The interlude has a Barry-on-Bach feeling. Then, surprise! Double-time.


  26. #25

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    14 No Place to Hide Now” (1975). From a sweetheart LP, David Allyn's "Don't Look Back." Piano-vocal duets with an oft-forgotten, plummy baritone. Barry's masterful accompaniment — gorgeous harmony & voice leading — is a work of art.