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Barry Harris: Live in New York

Venerable bop pianist and teacher Barry Harris keeps the flame burning on Live in New York (Reservoir). A tasteful, relaxed outing that features guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and tenor saxophonist Charles Davis on the front line with a rhythm tandem of bassist Paul West and drummer Leroy Williams, it is defined by Harris’ restrained touch, rich chordal voicings and masterful sense of phrasing, which are very much in evidence on the tone-setting opener, Tadd Dameron’s “Casbah.” The great pianist offers his own ode to bop’s high priest on “Monking Around” (written on the changes to “Strike Up the Band”) and then renders “‘Round Midnight” with three separate intros-his own, then Cootie Williams’ and finally Thelonious Monk’s-before heading into the familiar melody. Elsewhere, Harris pays tribute to another bop icon with his Latin-flavored “To Dizzy With Love.”

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