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Bruce Harris: Beginnings (Posi-Tone)

Review of debut album from trumpeter featuring his band plus guest saxophonists

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Cover of Bruce Harris album Beginnings
Bruce Harris album Beginnings

After more than a decade of gigging, Bruce Harris spends the first six seconds of his debut album blowing hot, unaccompanied trumpet, as if to establish, for those unfamiliar with him, that he can really play the thing. That accomplished in record time, he gets down to business, introducing his core band—pianist Michael Weiss, bassist Clovis Nicolas and drummer Pete Van Nostrand—and two of the five saxophonists with whom Harris will generously share the spotlight for the next 47 minutes.

That first track, “Ask Questions,” one of three Harris originals here, is a breathless bopper that finds the leader first peeling out a shiny, raucous solo before tagging baritone man Frank Basile, alto saxophonist Dmitry Baevsky and pianist Weiss to embellish the theme. Horace Silver’s “Mr. Blakey” spotlights Basile alongside two tenormen, Andy Farber and Grant Stewart, and, in deference to the title’s honoree, gives wide berth to Van Nostrand to dictate the tune’s feel. (A third tenor guest, Jerry Weldon, appears on “Ill Wind.”)

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