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“Inside Out” ~ The Bill Harris Quintet
1. You’re My Everything 8:17
2. Boston After Dark 6:41
3. Profiles 8:19
4. I Hear a Rhapsody 7:52
5. We’ll Be Together Again 4:05
6. I’ll Get By 6:14
7. Pensativa 8:42
8. A Sleepin’ Bee 7:10
9. Soultrane 5:35
10. Little Rootie Tootie 8:12
Recorded October 26-27, 2011 at Falcon Studios in Portland, Oregon

Bill Harris: Alto and Tenor Saxophone
Paul Mazzio: Trumpet and Flugelhorn
George Mitchell: Piano
Dave Captein: Bass
Dick Berk: Drums
Arrangements: Steve Hall; Steve Hall and Bill Harris on You’re My Everything
Producer: Steve Hall
Engineer: Dennis Carter
Mixing and Mastering: Steve Hall
Cover Art: Zayra Yves
Graphic Design: DeeDee Hunt
Liner Notes: George Fendel

Liner notes

Recently I became reacquainted with a 1970s LP, “Zoot Simms and Friend”. The bold-lettered subtitle reads, “Not the new thing but the real thing.

With a few refreshing exceptions, much “new” jazz can unfortunately ignore melody lines, include questionable less-than-musical hybrids of ethnic music, and add strange combinations of instruments and jarring electronic meanderings.

So, when what I consider a “real” jazz recording is issued these days, it’s a cause for celebration. And here it is: The Bill Harris Quintet’s “Inside-Out.” Alto/tenor player Harris in his first outing as a leader has assembled a group of sterling players with national credentials, with Steve Hall’s invigorating arrangements of several revered standards and some intriguing but lesser-known gems. Sounds like the real thing so far, wouldn’t you say?

In addition, Bill generously shares the solo spotlight and his colleagues, who take the ball and run with it.

The program begins with Harry Warren’s “You’re My Everything.” Harris’s classic alto solo is followed by energetic offerings from Paul Mazzio, flugelhorn (a veteran of the Woody Herman band and a former Tony Bennet sideman); George Mitchell, piano (30 years with Diana Ross and sideman to Sonny Stitt, Philly Jo Jones, Eddie Harris, Jon Hendricks, and others); and Dave Captein, bass (10 CDs with pianist Jessica Williams and sideman with Tal Farlow, Jack Sheldon, and Bud Shank, among others), followed by fours with legendary drummer Dick Berk (who has worked with jazz greats Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Blue Mitchell, Cal Tjader, and way too many others to list here), and an intriguing, non-standard ending.

Boston After Dark,” which Harris wrote decades ago during his years at Berklee College of Music, is next. Mazzio, Harris (this time on tenor), and Mitchell all offer spirited solos. “Profiles” also has a Berklee connection. Jazz great Gary Burton used this obscure Victor Brasil tune to illustrate a point in a Berklee jazz improv class. Bill, impressed with the tune, copied the changes from the blackboard and has been playing it ever since. Interestingly, a thorough search turns up no evidence of this beautiful tune ever having been recorded.

Next, the quintet skillfully explores “I Hear A Rhapsody”, a standard rich with improvisation possibilities. “We’ll Be Together Again”, another valued standard, almost seems it could have been written specifically for the alto saxophone. Harris and friends take it a bit faster than usual and it works to perfection.

Fred Ahlert and Roy Turk’s timeless “I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You)” is also interpreted at a nicely swinging tempo. Kudos to whomever had the idea! “Pensativa,” Clare Fischer’s lilting bossa, is one of those “you know it when you hear it” tunes. The quintet makes it sing, with beautiful solos.

“A Sleepin’ Bee” (Harold Arlen/Truman Capote) begins with the rarely played verse, which Harris handles with distinction and beauty before picking up the tempo in dramatic fashion. Then, Harris’s alto sings its way through “Soultrane”, one of the lasting contributions of composer Tadd Dameron. If you have a passion for pretty, this is your tune.

The session concludes with the rarely played Thelonious Monk classic, “Little Rootie Tootie”. A great set-closer, the brisk solos and tongue in cheek interactions with drumming legend Dick Berk convey the essence of this session.

Though others may “explore new horizons,” Bill Harris, a disciple of players with names like Adderley, Woods, and Coltrane, has simply invited some supremely talented friends to join him in playing great, timeless jazz.

After all, for many jazz fans, that is the real thing.

–George Fendel, KMHD Jazz Radio, December 2011

Air Play

Inside Out has made the “Top Adds” (five most added jazz albums in the country) section of the CMJ Jazz Chart, Issue 1239 to be published in CMJ’s New Music Report Magazine

Inside Out has debuted at #27 on the Top 40 CMJ Jazz Chart (Issue 1240 of CMJ’s New Music Report Magazine.)

Inside Out has been added to the playlists of the following radio, TV, and internet stations:

Direct TV Jazz Channel, Comcast Jazz Channel, WDET Detroit, WSCA Portsmouth NH, KSVY Sonoma CA, KRFC Fort Collins, CO,, WDNA Miami, M3 Radio Online, KOOP Radio, Austin TX, KMHD in Portland, WICN in Worcester MA, KTEP in El Paso TX, WWUH in Hartford CT, WWVU in Morgantown WV, WLSU Wisconsin Public Radio, KOTO Telluride CO, WESM Princess Anne MD, KBEM Minneapolis, WUCF Orlando, WHFC-FM Bel Air MD, WRTC Hartford CT, KIOS Omaha NE, KIOS Omaha NE, WBOI Fort Wayne IN, KZMU Moab UT, KPOV Bend OR, KHNS Haines AK, South Dakota Public Broadcasting KUSD, Jazz & Blues Tour Radio The Netherlands, Radio Adelaide – Adelaide, Australia, KSFR Santa Fe NM, KLBC Long Beach CA, KNTU North Texas State University Radio (Dallas/Denton), KJLU Jefferson City MO, KUNV Las Vegas, WDCE Richmond VA, WDPS Dayton OH, WDNA Miami, CJAM Windsor Ontario, 91.3 FM KVLU Beaumont, Texas, WUSF Tampa FL,, KCHO Chico CA, KDNK Carbondale CO, KOPN Columbia MO, KWLC Decorah, IA, WFWM Frostburg Md, WPTC Williamsport PA, WUVT Blacksburg VA, Jazz Channel, KASU Arkansas State University Radio, WCLK Atlanta, KHSU Arcata CA, Taintradio, Raleigh N.C., WCUW Worcester, WRUW Cleveland OH, WDIY-FM Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton PA, KAFM Grand Junction CO, KGLT Bozeman MT, KSDS San Diego, WVTF Roanoke VA, WAMC Albany NY, WTJU Charlottesville VA, WRIR, Richmond VA, WWSP Stevens Point WI, KSJS San Jose CA, WGXC Hudson NY, KSHU Huntsville TX, WPRB Princeton University, KVNF Paonia CO, WKPS University Park PA, KXCV Marysville MO, WVIA Pittston/Wilkes Barre, PA, KIPO Hawaii, KIPM, Hawaii, KIPH Hawaii, KWIT Sioux City, IA, CIUT Toronto, WPRB Princeton NJ