Silver Cycles

Silver Cycles

Released late in 1968, Silver Cycles was not only a leap forward for Eddie Harris, it served as a creative conference for the entire Atlantic jazz family. Boasting string arrangements by Arif Mardin and horn arrangements by William S. Fischer — two in-house geniuses who put their stamp on dozens of classic Atlantic releases — it is the first Harris album produced by Joel Dorn, the enthusiastic and outspoken personality who would help guide the careers of Les McCann, Roland Kirk and Yusef Lateef. You can detect Dorn’s influence in the album’s free-flowing, no-rules atmosphere. Backed by a seemingly unstoppable horn section, Harris turns in three of his most ferocious performances with “I’m Gonna Leave You By Yourself,” “Little Bit” and “Infrapolations.” While he was well accustomed to using his electric saxophone as a conductor of fire, Harris for the first time shows its potential to open spacey vistas. No doubt encouraged by Dorn, “Smoke Signals,” “Silver Cycles” and “Electric Ballad” were the most psychedelic songs Harris had recorded up to that time, and they still stand up against the best acid rock that 1968 has to offer.

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