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Music

Barry Harris Trio to play Upstairs this Friday and Saturday

Posted by Jim_Little / November 12, 2013

Barry HarrisHow many out-of-town acts play two consecutive nights in a club these days? The Barry Harris Trio is one. The band is back at Upstairs on November 15 & 16 for two shows each night, one at 7 pm and the other at 9:45 pm. The pianist leader, a brilliant interpreter of jazz standards and bebop, is also a fine composer. He's got a solid rhythm section with him - Ray Drummond on bass, and on drums, Leroy Williams, who's been with Harris since 1967.

Harris has been called the Last Master of Bebop. A living link to an earlier age, he sat in with Charlie Parker as a kid, and as the house pianist at the Blub Bird Club and the Rouge Lounge in Detroit, backed up greats like Miles Davis, Max Roach and Lester Young. In 1960, Harris arrived in New York City with Cannonball Adderley. Reluctant to continue to play the hits (Work Song, Dat Dere, Sack 'o Woe), he struck out with his own trio, also playing with Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt and others. Harris is a sideman on more than 100 recordings, not counting 20 as a leader.

A Bud Powell-influenced player, Harris also is very familiar with the repertoire of Thelonious Monk, whom he lived with in the 70s at the New Jersey home of Baroness Pannonica de Koeningswarter, the eccentric jazz patroness. He talks about his association with Monk in this excerpt from the doc Barry Harris: The Spirit of Bebop.

Also check out the admiration of some fellow musicians, as well as an interview on the Joe Franklin show, in this excerpt from the doc Barry Harris: Passing It On.

A profile by NBC News from 1985 includes a look inside his Jazz Cultural Theatre and gives some sense of him as an educator:


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