This is an unusual LP in several ways. The Spindletop label was mostly known for releasing commercial jazz sets, not a challenging outing such as this one. Tenor-saxophonist Eddie Harris and pianist Ellis Marsalis participate in seven mostly-adventurous duets, and their unlikely collaboration brought out the best in both players. They contributed two originals apiece in addition to creating interesting versions of "Out of This World", "Darn That Dream" and "Have You Met Miss Jones?".


A duet : Eddie HARRIS ts, & Ellis MARSALIS p,
Recorded in Dallas, Texas for Spindletop Records

Pianist Ellis Marsalis was born on November 13, 1934. After graduating from Dillard University and serving in the Marine Corps, he chose to pursue a career as a modern jazz musician in New Orleans, a city where virtually all of the attention was directed toward more traditional and popular styles. As a founding member of the American Jazz Quintet, Ellis and equally visionary contemporaries including clarinetist Alvin Batiste, saxophonist Harold Battiste, and drummer Edward Blackwell charted new directions for jazz in New Orleans in the 1950s. At the same time, and for the next quarter-century, Ellis provided for his family by holding down more commercial jobs, including leading the house band at the Playboy Club, working in the combo of trumpeter Al Hirt, and teaching music at the high school level. In 1974, he became the director of Jazz Studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, an arts high school that drew talented young musicians from all over the city. Among the students who received the benefits of Ellis' instruction are Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick, Jr., Donald Harrison and Nicholas Payton, as well as his own children. After his sons achieved success in the 1980s, the wider world belatedly discovered Ellis' talents as both musician and educator. He began recording, most often in a trio context, and extended his teaching efforts to the college level. It was at the concert marking his retirement from a faculty position at the University of New Orleans that Ellis Marsalis and Sons gave its first public performance.

Infos about Eddie Harris in main post. To be continued...

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