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Eddie Harris


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Eddie Harris (October 20, 1934 - November 5, 1996), was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Although he was one of the most popular jazz musicians of his day (and the first to receive a gold record), his inclusion in his repertoire of types of music other than jazz and his incorporation of comedy into his act led many jazz critics to consider him insufficiently committed to jazz. His experimentation with other types of music sometimes had questionable results, but many still regard him as one of the great jazz musicians.

His first album for Vee Jay, Exodus to Jazz included his own jazz arrangement of Ernest Gold’s theme from the movie Exodus. A shortened version of this track, which featured his masterful playing in the upper register of the tenor saxophone, was heavily played on radio and became the first jazz record ever to be certified gold.

Many jazz critics, however, regarded commercial success as a sign that a jazz artist had sold out, and Harris soon stopped playing “Exodus” in concert. He moved to Columbia Records in 1964 and to Atlantic Records in 1965. At Atlantic in 1965 he released The In Sound, a bop album which won back many of his detractors.

Over the next few years he began to perform on electric piano and the electric Varitone saxophone, and to perform a mixture of jazz and funk which sold well in both the jazz and rhythm and blues markets. In 1967 his album The Electrifying Eddie Harris reached second place on the R & B charts.


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  • Deadbios

    very very coooooool))

    22 Nov 2011 Reply
  • morganik

    freedom jazz dance!

    24 Nov 2009 Reply
  • neo7X

    there is a cut on eddie's "i'm tired of driving" lp titled "what's wrong with the world today" that's still some 30 odd years on, neat-o befitting in the here and the now, like.

    22 May 2009 Reply
  • robbeaux

    Eddie Harris embodies the free-spirited creativity that makes jazz such a rewarding listen. If you get a chance, check out his Bossa Nova album. I always liked this guy's sound, his singing through the sax and playing the pad sounds with just his breath will always echo through my mind. I recommend him highly.

    20 Jan 2009 Reply
  • OdedFriedGaon

    I failed to mention that i think Eddie Harris "Exodus To Jazz" is one of the best releases ever made available to humans!!!!!

    1 Jan 2009 Reply
  • OdedFriedGaon

    The genius of Funk in Jazz. Raw soul, incarnate. He WILL be remembered, respected.

    1 Jan 2009 Reply
  • bubber22

    cool sax warm heart,,brother ed..another posthumus genius

    7 Dec 2008 Reply
  • Draconoir

    He was truly a visionary musician who unfortunately was under appreciated in his later days. As funky on tenor as anyone plus a true gentleman.

    21 Jun 2008 Reply
  • chillionaire

    some insane recordings... jazz on lsd?

    23 Jan 2008 Reply
  • aegian

    truly original. screw the jazz police!

    24 Nov 2007 Reply
  • HundredsOfEggs

    As my uncle says, Eddie Harris is the missing link between hard funk and easy listening. 'Excursions' is an amazing album.

    21 Sep 2007 Reply
  • funkhunter

    He's one of my favorite Sax players. He was so miscellaneous and he had a lot of soul in his playing.

    15 Sep 2007 Reply
  • mr_specials

    Bumpin' :) great tune

    7 Sep 2007 Reply
  • liamhennessy

    He was great - such a nice chap too. I miss him terribly. What a loss to the music world.

    11 May 2007 Reply
  • miao


    18 Mar 2007 Reply
  • NowhereManKz

    He's great jazzman.

    11 Feb 2007 Reply

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