Donald Harrison

Real Life Stories

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Donald Harrison, alto sax; Christian Scott, trumpet; Eric Reed, piano; Jonathan Lefcoski, piano; Vicente Archer, bass; John Lamkin, drums.

The liner notes state that this is Harrison's fourth installment of his"Nouveau Swing" concept, one that puts funk and reggae rhythms with swing. With that said, the music here doesn't stray too far from its bop roots.

Harrison was once a member of Blakey's hallowed Jazz Messengers. The titletrack is a nice, easy blues that allows the soloists ample time to develop their ideas. Harrison blows with a melodic confidence that many today seem tolack. His tone is rich, yet has an edge at times that gives it character. Drummer Lamkin contributes "Swept from The Sea," which is a melodic Latin track that is filled with quick stops.

Dizzy's "A Night In Tunisia" is given a very relaxed reading where the rhythm falls somewhere in-between Latin and swing, to become almost a veryslow funk. Paul Desmond's classic "Take Five" again straddles the linebetween swing and funk. The almost stiff rhythm in five exhibits a differentgroove. Harrison blows a beautiful solo that seems to float effortlessly above the rhythm section. "Keep The Faith" is a Gospel funk workout. As a concept, Harrison's "Nouveau Swing" works. Recommended for it's strong musicianship and sense of melody.

By Michael Bettine

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