Bad Luck Is All I Have
Dank and rubbery, Bad Luck Is All I Have expounds upon Eddie Harris’ obsession with Sly Stone. Dark and gritty and skeletal, “Bad Luck Is All I Have” and “Get On Up And Dance” are indicative of the same subterranean paranoia that fueled Sly’s Small Talk, released one year prior. The sound design is extraordinary. This has to be one of the dirtiest, least polished albums Atlantic’s jazz wing ever agreed to release. It would have horrified Tom Dowd, the label’s faithful recording engineering, but in the best possible way. This is pure subterranean funk music, played by a genius whose grip on reality was becoming slightly wobbly. “Abstractions” and “It Feels So Good” are fractured and unruly, but they are also audacious and a lot of fun. The reward at the end of this thorny journey is “Why Must We Part,” an eerie celestial blues that Eddie sings in a desperate, loving falsetto. Even as it symbolizes a cracked mental state, it is probably the best vocal of his career.