Eddie Harris (1970) Come on Down! (LP) Atlantic 1554

Eddie Harris
Come on Down!
Atlantic 1554
produced by Tom Dowd
1970

Rating:**** (Recommended)

Harris goes to Florida for some fresh-squeezed sounds, all the way to the warm climes of Miami but obviously inspired by the red-hot deep-fried soul food offerings of Memphis and Muscle Shoals.

Backed with a cracker-jack team (including Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass and Cornell Dupree on guitar), Harris cooks up a rocking soul-jazz groove on “Live Right Now,” slowly turning up the heat as the number progresses, building it up until the pot is bubbling, until you can almost smell the gumbo steaming.  “Really” comes up next on the menu, a slow-cooking soulful number, in sharp contrast to the cooker before it but equally powerful, Harris leading a soulful conversation, the cut unlike anything he’d done before.  The flipside sounds slightly mild after those red-hot numbers, but the set is fairly consistent, quite enjoyable from start to finish, closing on a strong note with “Why Don’t You Quit.”

 


Producer Tom Dowd had a knack for putting the essential elements upfront to give the music a punch, while filling the backspace to keep it interesting.  This set is certainly testimony to that.

— winch

 

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Les McCann & Eddie Harris (1969) Swiss Movement (LP) Atlantic 1537

Les McCann & Eddie Harris
Swiss Movement

Atlantic 1537
Produced by Nesuhi Ertegun & Joel Dorn
recorded June 1969
Rating:**** (Recommended)

Classic spontaneous combustion soul jazz from McCann/Harris (they’d never rehearsed or played together), the set opening with a definitive version of McCann’s signature tune “Compared to What?” (Gene McDaniels), the rest instrumental, cooking from the get-go, keeping it going from go to whoa, turning down the flame and getting a bit reflective on the cuts that close the sides.

Solid set from 1969, essential listen for fans.

— winch