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Donald Harrison, Jr. Presents the New Orleans Legacy Ensemble: Spirits of Congo Square (Candid CCD 79759).

Donald Harrison, Jr. Presents the New Orleans Legacy Ensemble: Spirits of Congo Square (Candid CCD 79759)

New Orleans alto saxman Donald Harrison, Jr. has put together quite an ensemble to support him on this energetic recording: Nicholas Payton, Marion Jordan, and Jamil Sharif on trumpets; Delfeayo Marsalis on trombone; Louis Ford on clarinet; Victor Goines on tenor sax; Peter Martin on piano; Elton Heron on bass, Adonis Rose on drums, and John O'Neal, who does a vocal/poetry recitation on the opening cut. The music ranges over traditional New Orleans tunes (e.g., "Two Pockey Way," "Just a Closer Walk with Three"), jazz standards (e.g., "Bye-Ya," "Oleo"), an original by Harrison ("Don't Drink the Water"), and a poetic recital by O'Neal, accompanied by percussion, that really sets the tone for the rest of the album by introducing the second-line rhythm that underlies all the arrangements. All of the cuts are excellent; for me, the real standout is the group's arrangement of Sonny Rollins's "Oleo," which responds well to the New Orleans-style arrangement that it gets here. This wonderful release was recorded back in 1996 in New Orleans; but Candid is a British label, and I am not sure if there has been any other release. In any event, it is a great CD, and I recommend it highly to all jazz fans. Sound quality is solid if unspectacular, the liner notes are informative, and a really nice production detail is the identification of the soloists in the listing of tunes. A wonderful release! -- KWN
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Author:Nehring, Karl W.
Publication:Sensible Sound
Date:Nov 1, 2000
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