Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eddie Harris

Eddie Harris was one of those jazz dudes who pop up with such regularity in my collection, who do one song then split – except that in the case of Harris, the song was a hit. Harris’ career really took after after the one hit, as a jazz artist, not a top 100 guy, though he did have three more songs on the charts; that was later, 1968 – 1970.

Eddie Harris:

Exodus – Written by Ernest Gold, from the movie directed by Otto Preminger, based on the book by Leon Uris. The book may have been the most popular piece of propaganda claptrap of the 20th century. I never saw the movie. But the theme song had a life of its own. It won the Oscar, and it won a Grammy. It was the ultimate musical melodrama, what Gustav Mahler would have sounded like had he written TV commercials. Three competing hit version were on the charts at the same time: the string laden afternoon matinee version by Mantovani, the piano drama version by Ferrante & Teicher, and this one, which omits the drama altogether, and replaces it with some super-cool swing. If you really want to know what the theme from Exodus sounds like, listen to one of the others; but when you want to hear what good music it really is, this is the place to start. From the summer of 1961.

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