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Sound Ideas #8 - People, Past and Present
Thanks for listening in. This hour is about enjoying the present, the people around us, and remembering those who helped us along the way.
Artist Track Album
Eddie Harris Eddie Who? Eddie Who?
Karin Allyson Strollin' Footprints
Art Farmer and Benny Golson From Dream to Dream Back to the City
Louie Bellson Starship Concord Live at the Concord Summer Festival
Davell Crawford I ain't got Nothin' but Love The B-3 and Me
Chet Baker There will Never be Another You Best of Chet Baker
Diana Krall I Love Being Here with You Only Trust Your Heart
Dizzy Gillespie Birks' Works New Faces
Gene Harris All Star Big Band Captain Bill Tribute to Count Basie
Eddie Harris Exodus Exodus to Jazz

Eddie Harris was key figure in the Chicago sound of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much like follow Chicagoan Ramsey Lewis, Eddie started in the post-Bop era and then progressed into more popularly focused material, was an early innovation in the electric and fusion movements, and ultimately returned to his roots for the decade or so before his passing. As important as he was in jazz, he never developed as broad level of recognition as some of his contemporaries as witnessed in his self deprecating homage, Eddie Who? If you don't already know who Eddie was, just listen to the lyrics, and he'll tell you.

Karin Allyson is a gifted singer and pianist, but not one that fits the popular mold of some recent female singer-pianists. He she handles the challenges and delicacies of a Horace Silver classic ably assisted by John Hendricks. Continuing on the wistful journey we reflect with the Art Farmer and Benny Golson Jazztet, and then take a rocket ride with Louie Bellson's 7. Each of these performers may not have the top-of-mind brand-awareness of some of jazz's better known, but their creative talents are plainly evident.

We enter the second set with three different expressions of fondness. In each, we hear the admiration of someone special, but each with its own personality. Davell gives us an almost dueling piano and organ interplay, as if each keyboard was trying express that it had more to offer the object of its affection. From arguably Chet Baker's most prolific if not too-good-to-be-true era of velvet vocals and mellow trumpet, his admiration is sheer warmth and comfort. Diana's admiration is reflective of the sheer fun of the moment, the rollicking, devil may care, nothing else much matters if only she is with you. And yes, she's one hell of pianist to boot.

Our last set features homages to the greats of our past. Dizzy backed by one crop of the young lions of the 1980s, and Gene Harris making his return to the acoustic and big band idiom from which he was so long removed to remind us of just how much of a musical lineage we have with Bill Basie. We round out the hour with the track that put Eddie Harris on map, namely the theme from Exodus. It's the Chicago sound; definitely not as laid back as West Coast Cool but nowhere near as frantic as New York but with all the fried chicken and cornbread.

This hour's recordings span 38 years. Yet aside from recording quality, can you date the music? Probably not. Jazz is a living art form, a growing and ever expanding language. Yet it is one in which the reverence and appreciation of the past is foremost in the present and the future. This is why classic jazz is never dated; it transcends the space-time continuum.