Sunday, July 15, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Eddie Harris
Album:The Artist's Choice:The Eddie Harris Anthology
Sax player Eddie Harris had a surprise pop hit with Exodus in 1961. Of course later on he would establish his jazz credentials. He was born Oct. 20, 1934 in Chicago. He learned to play piano in church and also took up the tenor sax. After a stint in the Army, he moved to New York. Harris decided to move back home in 1960 and signed with VeeJay Records. VeeJay was not really a jazz label. The film Exodus was very popular at the time and Harris' version of the theme became a huge pop hit. The album Exodus To Jazz was the first jazz album ever certified gold. Obviously it was a fluke. Attempts to follow it up didn't work. VeeJay went out of business and Harris went to Atlantic in 1967. He always had the talent but he was able to establish credibility as a jazz artist with songs like Feedom Jazz Dance. He also experimented with electric sax and even tried stand up comedy. He also tried more commercial music at times. This 2CD comp from Rhino has a lot of his Atlantic sides and some early VeeJay music chosen by Harris. Harris left Atlantic in 1978 and continued to tour until his death on Nov. 5, 1996 at age 62. Eddie Harris was never a favourite of jazz critics but his music is worthwhile. Here's Eddie Harris performing Listen Here in 1970.