Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Eddie Harris - Exodus to Jazz/Mighty Like a Rose

This Vee Jay two-fer reissues Eddie Harris' first two albums, the surprise hit Exodus to Jazz and the similar-sounding follow-up Mighty Like a Rose. One of the biggest hit jazz LPs of the post-rock & roll era, Exodus to Jazz seemed to come completely out of left field. It was the debut album by a previously unknown artist from an underpublicized scene in Chicago, and it was released on the primarily R&B-oriented Vee Jay label. The impetus for its breakthrough was equally unlikely; Harris adapted Ernest Gold's stately, somber theme from the Biblical film "Exodus" into a laid-back jazz tune. Its stunning popularity sent jazz critics into a tizzy — after all, if it was that accessible to a mass audience, there just had to be something wrong with it, didn't there ? In hindsight, the answer is no. Exodus to Jazz is full of concise, easy-swinging grooves that maintain the appealing quality of the strikingly reimagined title track (particularly Harris' four originals). Far removed from his later, funkier days, Harris plays a cool-toned tenor that owes its biggest debt to Stan Getz's bop recordings, though there are touches of soul-jazz as well. One can hardly blame Harris for taking essentially the same approach on the follow-up Mighty Like a Rose ; it's not every day that a jazz artist's debut LP makes him a million-selling star overnight. There are only two Harris originals this time around; the rest of the repertoire is mostly standards, plus another movie theme adaptation — this time of "Spartacus." It's all well-executed, and Harris' command of the highest ranges of his instrument is as lovely as ever. Since these two sessions are very much of a piece, their pairing on a two-fer makes perfect sense, and results in the best available way to hear Harris' early sound.
Steve Huey

Source :

Eddie Harris
Exodus to Jazz
Mighty Like a Rose


1 Exodus (Gold)  6:39
2 Alicia (Harris)  3:38
3 Gone Home (Harris)  2:53
4 A.T.C. (Harris)  5:31
5 A.M. Blues (Harris, Pickens)  2:45
6 Little Girl Blue (Hart, Rodgers)  3:20
7 Velocity (Harris)  5:07
8 W.P. (Pickens)  4:31
9 My Buddy (Donaldson, Kahn)  5:33
10 Willow Weep for Me (Ronell)  3:49
11 Spartacus (North)  4:35
12 Mighty Like a Rose (Nevin, Stanton)  2:06
13 God Bless the Child (Herzog, Holiday)  3:48
14 Sally T. (Harris)  3:34
15 Fontessa (Lewis)  5:19
16 There is No Time (Harris)  2:14


Eddie Harris - ts
Joseph Diorio - g
Willie Pickens - p
William Yancey - b
Harold Jones - dr

Recorded in Chicago ; January 17 [# 1-8] & April 14 [# 9-16], 1961


wightdj said...

Essential Eddie Harris. Thanks.

Herman said...


Heervee said...

Joe Diorio should be better known, he brought so many new harmonies. Thank you

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with Heervee about Joe Diorio, thanks a lot Mel for Eddie Harris' first two albums !

By the way, I'm looking for the GREAT album "Sonny Stitt - My Main Man" in LOSSLESS only, if anyone has this one, email me.

Bill said...

LOVE Eddie Harris! Thanks!

anon'n'on said...

hi mom (mother's day in usa)..oh she'll never see this...thanks for eddie

anon'n'on said...

hi mom (mother's day in usa)..oh she'll never see this...thanks for eddie

anon'n'on said...

sorry..2 too many clicks

Jazzerito said...


Melanchthon said...

deGallo said...

Thank you. Great post!

francisco santos said...


glinka21 said...

Thanks, Mel!

AmyBRAINS said...

Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

kristophermc28 said...

Thanks Mel!

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

jazzandylan said...

Many thanks Mel!

Kovina Kris said...

Very nice. Thank you!