That Is Why You're Overweight

That Is Why You're Overweight

Because he was a jazz saxophonist who sang, Eddie Harris is often overlooked for the contributions he made to '70s funk music. His squishy, bluesy view of funk was one of the most distinctive exponents of the genre, and 1975’s That Is Why You’re Overweight typifies his idiosyncratic approach. “It’s All Right,” “Why Do You Hurt Me," and “Live Again” are just as good as contemporaneous works by The Ohio Players, Sly Stone, and Parliament. Harris had a demented sense of humor that was perfect for funk, and his rough-hewn vocals are a welcome antidote to the era's overly sanitized singers. While Harris was turned on by funk, he never gave up on jazz. “Exempt” is a swirling spiritual that's both militant and poignant, while “Ooh” features Harris alone with his horn, unadorned. But the title song is the undeniable centerpiece: Harris leads the band through a slow-burning groove that exemplifies his wonderfully weird and rambling explorations of jazz, funk, and R&B.

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