From the opening tour de force reading of Coleman Hawkins' "Bean and the Boys" to the closing performance of Charlie Parker's "Dexterity," Magnificent brilliantly illustrates Barry Harris' unique rapport with the bop piano tradition. Absolutely unlike the enervating, curatorial approach of the neo-con movement, Harris deals with the tradition as a continuum, perpetually rejuvenating and extending it. Along with the opening and closing tracks, the classics on this 1969 date include a caressing exploration of "These Foolish Things" and a dazzling treatment of "Ah-Leu-Cha."
Although it is no secret that Emmylou Harris is one of the modern era's most prolific guest vocalists, it's only when you see her appearances laid out one after the other that you realize just how many other performers have called upon her over the years – a gamut that runs from Linda Ronstadt to Little Feat, from Bob Dylan to Bonnie Raitt.
Sonny Stitt, doubling on alto and tenor, is in fine form on this quartet session (a Japanese import CD) with either Barry Harris or Walter Davis on piano, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Tony Williams. The repertoire (bop standards, blues and ballads) is fairly typical and nothing too unusual occurs, but fans of straightahead jazz in general and Sonny Stitt in particular will be satisfied with this above-average effort, highlighted by "It Might as Well Be Spring" and "Constellation."
On the 1976 Silver Session Tour of Japan, Barry Harris played the first set with Sam Jones (bass) and Leroy Williams (drums), then 'the world's greatest Jazz guitarist' (according to Don Schlitten) Jimmy Raney took Harris's spot and played a stellar trio set of his own with Jones and Williams. This deluxe CD includes a 16- page book with original liner notes essay by producer Don Schlitten plus extra photos and session notes, and a new essay by jazz journalist Bill Milkowski who notes: 'His obituary in the New York Times called him one of the most gifted and influential postwar jazz guitarists in the world. Those gifts are on full display on Live in Tokyo'. First US reissue since the original 1976 LP release.