Bill Harris

Complete Mercury Recordings (FSRCD 792)

Complete Mercury Recordings Ver más grande

Complete Mercury Recordings

Bill Harris

Fresh Sound Records


ABS 140204




Complete Mercury Recordings

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CD 15,69 €

When Bill Harris recorded his first album as a leader in 1956, he had already been the electric guitar accompanist for The Clovers—one of the most outstanding R&B vocal groups—since 1949. Fellow guitarist Mickey Baker recommended him to Mercury/EmArcy’s A&R head, Bob Shad, and it is to Shad’s credit that he gave Harris so much scope on his debut. The full colored natural sound of Harris’s unamplified Spanish guitar is a rare and interesting pleasure. In the words of Nat Hentoff, “the blues-soul of Harris courses richly through everything he plays.”

On his second album for the label, “The Harris Touch,” Bill was backed by a conventional rhythm section and a bongo player. The session featured the excellent piano work of Hank Jones, with three of the tunes vehicles to showcase of Harris’s electric guitar. On the Mercury/Wing album, Harris again performs solo, displaying his remarkable feeling for the unamplified guitar in both jazz and semi-classical contexts. The fourth album on this set is also a solo recital, recorded during a Bill Harris concert in Washington in 1962. Harris plays with engaging easiness in a live program which mainly includes material from the other three albums, demonstrating his abilities as an improviser of lovely, rhythmically resilient variations.

Down Beat magazine defined his style as a combination of beauty, lyricism, charm and solid strength. This collection of performances is both a masterpiece of guitar versatility and a master class in improvisation.


CD 1 [1-12] “Bill Harris”:
Bill Harris, guitar solos

Recorded in New York City, 1956

CD 1 [13-24] “The Harris Touch”:
Bill Harris, classical and electric guitar; Hank Jones, piano and celeste; unidentified bassist, drummer, and bongo player

Recorded in New York City, May 2 (#15,16,18,21,23,24) & 21 (#13,14,17,19,20), 1957

CD 2 [1-11] “Great Guitar Sounds”

Bill Harris, guitar solos
Recorded in New York City, 1959

CD 2 [12-22] "Caught in the Act”:

Bill Harris, guitar solos
Recorded at Cafritz Auditorium, Washington D.C., December, 1962


CD 1

01. Stompin’ at the Savoy (Webb-Sampson-Goodman) 2:17
02. Moonglow (Hudson-De Lang-Mills) 2:32
03. Cherokee (Noble) 1:29
04. Out of Nowhere (Heyman-Green) 2:58
05. Ethyl (Harris) 2:42
06. Possessed (Harris) 2:43
07. Perdido (Lengsflder-Drake-Tizol) 2:37
08. I Can’t Get Started (Duke-Gershwin) 1:47
09. Dreaming (Harris) 2:33
10. K. C. Shuffle (Harris) 2:15
11. Ivanhoe (Pullian) 2:07
12. Lover (Hart-Rodgers) 2:20
13. Spring (Harris) 1:40 (*)
14. Baker’s Dozen (Harris) 1:44
15. Golden Sunset (Harris-Howitt) 2:36
16. Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf-Waller) 2:55
17. Midnight Blue (Harris-Moody) 3:02
18. Yesterdays (Harbach-Kern) 1:53
19. The Harris Touch (Harris) 3:27
20. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein II) 2:54
21. ‘S Wonderful (G. & I.Gershwin) 2:17
22. Sometimes I’m Happy (Youmans-Caesar) 2:35
23. Rock Bottom Blues (Harris-Jones) 4:19
24. The Man I Love (G. & I.Gershwin) 2:33

(*) “Spring” was originally issued on the album “The Harris Touch,” but recorded at the “Bill Harris” session

CD 2

01. Lullaby of Birdland (Shearing) 2:37
02. Blue Angel (Harris) 2:01
03. The Song Is You (Hammerstein II-Kern) 2:40
04. Daahoud (Brown) 1:58
05. Ethyl (Harris) 2:03
06. Wind Song (Harris) 2:01
07. Ol’ Man River (Hammerstein II-Kern) 2:33
08. Once in a While (Edwards-Green) 2:49
09. Poinciana [Song of the Tree] (Simon-Lliso-Bernier) 2:03
10. Concerto for Jazz Guitar (Your Majesty) (Malachi-Harris) 3:11
11. Jordu (Jordan) 1:43
12. Lover (Hart-Rodgers) 6:45
13. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein II) 1:42
14. Poinciana [Song of the Tree] (Simon-Lliso-Bernier) 2:27
15. Well You Needn’t (Monk) 3:21
16. “Intaglio Monk,” Parts 1 & 2 (Harris) 6:02
17. Stompin’ at the Savoy (Webb-Sampson-Goodman) 2:18
18. Possessed (Harris) 1:18
19. Cherokee (Noble) 4:36
20. The Song Is You (Hammerstein II-Kern) 3:31
21. Where Is Big Joe Williams Blues (Harris) 3:17
22. Ethyl (Harris) 3:25