Archive for the ‘Eddie Harris’ Category

Eddie Harris

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Listen: Is It In (Mono) / Eddie Harris

In the early 70′s, a lot of these credible jazz players leaned disco or dance-y, I assume looking for more mainstream exposure. After all, Deodato had hit big on Top 40 with ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ while with CTI, actually getting to #2 on BILLBOARD. It was an audio oasis on the AM dial at the time.

So guys like Wes Montgomery, Grover Washington, Jr. and Eddie Harris either made attempts at singles, or their respective labels would edit down longer album tracks in hopes of some pop airplay.

I was working for DISCOUNT RECORDS in Syracuse at the time. All the label’s sales guys would donate their boxes of promo 7″ allocations my way, given that no one else at any of their accounts wanted them. The store managers and clerks were generally album whores. It was a God-send for me.

‘Is It In’ became a big hit, well in our store that is. We had a sturdy Garrard stacking turntable behind the counter, and I played it ad nauseam, resulting in some LP sales. At home, even Corinne found the lyrics amusing in a sort of risque way and ended up tolerating it, an anomaly for her when it came to anything jazz.

Eddie Harris

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

That Is Why You're Overweight / Eddie Harris

Listen: That Is Why You’re Overweight / Eddie Harris EddieHarrisOverweight.mp3

Back in ’74, I became quite friendly with the Buffalo WEA salesman, Jack Rhelie. At the time, the labels he repped were the absolute holy grail. He’d bring me massive boxes of promo singles – instead of tossing them. Glad I mentioned my 45 fetish to him – and he was glad to give them a decent home. I was an ardent jazz hater up to this point. Always joked jazz should be a controlled substance (the arrogance of youth). Many of the traditional jazz guys were incorporating funk into their newer material, and when edited, they’d occasionally make for potential single releases. So I started appreciating them more, essentially not sounding like jazz at all, they weren’t much different from Bobby Byrd or Fred Wesley tracks actually. And I loved that stuff. Eddie Harris caught my ear first with his ’74 track ‘Is It In’, getting a juvenile kick out of the title and lyric. Always a sucker for songs with food twists, I totally fell for ‘That Is Why You’re Overweight’. A nice period piece too. Another jukebox staple.