Gene Harris Big Band – A Concord Record that Isn’t Mediocre (!)

More of the Music of Count Basie

More Hot Stamper Pressings of Big Band Recordings

Since when did Concord learn to make a record that sounds as good as this one, with inspired, energetic performances from this solid group of veterans of the jazz wars no less.

Where is the typical Concord sub-gen, opaque, closed-in, compressed and lifeless sound we’ve been hearing all our lives?

This is one jazz label that has done almost nothing of any real interest from the very start, and yet somehow they not only managed to get Gene Harris and his band of All Stars to play with tremendous enthusiasm and skill, they actually managed to capture, with considerable fidelity I might add, the prodigious big band energy they produced onto a reel of analog tape.

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own two ears.

Not only is the sound EXCELLENT, but the big band really swings. They pull out all the stops. Gene Harris, one of my favorite pianists, leads an all star crew on a series of tracks performed in the spirit of Count Basie. Not a slavish recreation, but an inspired performance in his style. This has to be one of the best sounding Concord records I’ve ever heard. Without a doubt one of the real sleepers from that label.

What to Listen For

Weight and solidity in the lower registers of the piano, and of course throughout the brass section. On the best copies the trombones can really blast. (They’re the loudest instrument in the orchestra; did you know that? Crazy!)

Big and full-bodied, that’s the big band sound we love. The best pressings have plenty of it.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Captain Bill
Night Mist Blues
Swingin’ The Blues
When Did You Leave Heaven

Side Two

Blue and Sentimental
Riled Up
The Masquerade Is Over
Dejection Blues