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JazzTimes 10: Great Blue Note Tracks from the 1970s

Paying long-overdue tribute to the label’s most underappreciated era

9. Gene Harris: “Koko and Lee Roe” (from Nexus, 1975)
Throughout much of his career, pianist Gene Harris resolutely kept his fingers on pop music’s pulse. After his group the Three Sounds disbanded in 1973, Harris experimented more with electric keyboards and funk rhythms. This Jerry Peters-penned jam is one of his best efforts during this period. It features him teasing out squealing melodic lines that would make Bernie Worrell green with envy amid rugged layers of keyboards, churning percussion, and enthusiastic vocals. 

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John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.