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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On this engaging, 12-tune set, Donald Harrison amply demonstrates his stylistic range. Featuring a rich, buoyant alto sound (a fluent combination of Cannonball Adderley and Maceo Parker), he makes a striking '90s statement--everything from bebop to hip-hop is referenced (at times within the same piece), but the influences are creatively integrated, suggesting a continuity of jazz lineage, rather than a showy pastiche. Drawing from his stints with Art Blakey and Digable Planets, Harrison joins a flexible, loose-limbed swing with a solid groove to make the complex tunes flow effortlessly from his ensemble. From the fiery, Coltranesque salvos on "Indian Blues" to the smooth, George Benson-flavored "Mr. Cool Breeze," Harrison shows a command of both style and substance. This is strong contemporary jazz unafraid to reveal its heritage. --Wally Shoup

Review

Donald Harrison's new recording, Free to Be (Impulse!), continues in the vein of his previous album, Nouveau Swing. It synthesizes modern rhythms like funk, hip-hop, Ramp;B and places them into a straightahead-jazz context. "The possibilities for acoustic jazz are limitless," says the saxophonist. "I try to do what's most natural for me. Coming from New Orleans and living in Brooklyn, I take the things I hear all the time in the culture I'm immersed in. I'm not trying to force anything."

--- JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright

Free to Be

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