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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke



Donald Harrison

Nagel Heyer NHCD2022


    1. Playa Haters
    2. Real life Stories
    3. Swept From the Sea
    4. Oleo
    5. A Night in Tunisia
    6. Strange Day
    7. Take Five
    8. I’m Barred
    9. Keep the Faith

Donald Harrison – Alto
Christian Scott – Trumpet
Eric Reed – Piano
Jonathan Lefcoski – Piano
Vicente Archer – Bass
John Lamkin – Drums

Donald Harrison was born in New Orleans, studied with Ellis Marsalis, and at Berklee School of Music in Boston. He became a member of the Jazz messengers when he was still only 22, the trumpet player in the Messengers at that time was Terence Blanchard and their co-operation continued after both had left the band. He also worked very successfully with the John Faddis Quintet.

Although Harrison is obviously a Parker disciple, he is not a man to copy anyone else’s licks. He is very proud of his roots in American Indian culture and always introduces elements of the rhythms of Mardi Gras and folk into his performances.

On this occasion the sleeve notes are informative, perhaps even a bit over the top! There seems to be an attempt to convince us that ‘nouveau swing’ is something completely different to anything that happened before, but I don’t think so. It sounds to me like a logical extension of what went before, but very well played by an exciting bunch of musicians, mostly young, who all have an excellent future to look forward to.

I think that the programme is very well chosen, mixing familiar jazz themes with original compositions by members of the band. I am sure this format is much more suited to holding the attention of the listener than a never-ending diet of the unfamiliar.

Having heard this album, I shall be looking out for the next one and hoping that Donald Harrison will be in the Midlands soon. I like his musical approach.


Don Mather


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