The In Sound

The In Sound

Eddie Harris signed to Atlantic in 1965, opening the most celebrated chapter in his long career. The In Sound, his first album for the label, offers everything Atlantic jazz head Neshui Ertegun was looking for at the time. It has the affability of a great club set, with ever-shifting rhythms that never become overbearing or overreaching. In fact, this is a kind of sophisticated dance music, delivered with the utmost integrity and authenticity. Harris got his pick of the best sidemen, and everyone in the band would go on to become a star in his own right: pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Higgins. As with all Atlantic jazz releases from this era, The In Sound benefits from Tom Dowd’s superlative engineering. The sound is so natural that even the squeak of Higgins’ bass-drum pedal is audible on “S’Wonderful” and “Freedom Jazz Dance.” The latter song is a Harris signature, and the best performance here. Thoughtful and funky, it elevates the listener and signals Harris’ role as the musician best able to bridge the world of free jazz to the world of downhome R&B.

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