The Blues-Soul of Bill Harris · Complete Mercury Recordings 1956-1959 + Bonus Tracks (4 LP on 2 CDs)
  • EmArcy MG36097 EmArcy MG36097
  • EmArcy MG36113 EmArcy MG36113
  • Wing MGW12220 Wing MGW12220
  • Jazz Guitar JGLP100 Jazz Guitar JGLP100
  • Bill Harris Bill Harris

Bill Harris

The Blues-Soul of Bill Harris · Complete Mercury Recordings 1956-1959 + Bonus Tracks (4 LP on 2 CDs)

Fresh Sound Records

Bill Harris (g), Hank Jones (p, celeste)

Reference: FSRCD 792_2

When Bill Harris recorded his first album as a leader in 1956, he had already been the electric guitar accompanist for The Cloversone of the most outstanding R&B vocal groupssince 1949. Fellow guitarist Mickey Baker recommended him to Mercury/EmArcys A&R head, Bob Shad, and it is to Shads credit that he gave Harris so much scope on his debut. The full colored natural sound of Harriss 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 Harriss 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
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. Bakers 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 Im 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

Sources CD 1:
Tracks #1-12, from the album "Bill Harris" (Mercury/EmArcy MG 36097)
Tracks #13-24, from the album "The Harris Touch" (Mercury/EmArcy MG 36113)

Sources CD 2:
Tracks #1-11, from the album "Great Guitar Sounds" (Mercury/Wing MGW 12220)
Tracks #12-22, from the album "Caught in the Act" (Jazz Guitar JGLP 100)

Personnel on "Bill Harris":
Bill Harris, guitar solos.
Recorded in New York City, 1956

Personnel on "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

Personnel on "Great Guitar Sounds":
Bill Harris, guitar solos.
Recorded in New York City, 1959

Personnel on "Caught in the Act":
Bill Harris, guitar solos.
Recorded at Cafritz Auditorium, Washington D.C., December, 1962

Original recordings produced by Bob Shad
Live recordings produced by Bill Harris

This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol

Hi Fidelity · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered


$16.27  (tax incl.)

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