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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Jazz Album Ever to be Certified Gold, 7 Sep 2011
This review is from: Exodus To Jazz & Mighty Like A Rose (Audio CD)
Harris' best-known compositions are "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "Listen Here", but it's "Exodus" that brought instant public acclaim and censors' critical disaffection. Eddie Harris' "Exodus to Jazz", his 1961 Vee Jay album, became the first jazz album ever to be certified gold. Exodus' sales exceeded one million dollars, an astounding and unprecedented phenomenon for a jazz artist. A jazz record that sold an unheard of two million copies! Pretentious purists denigrated Harris and his commercial success. These detractors vilified Harris and his commercial success claiming Exodus' appeal for the masses undermined the intrinsically artistic essence of jazz and the only-ardent-devotees' appreciation of jazz. So Harris' widely public appeal, judged antithetical to Jazz's history, venue and patronage, was decried by Jazz's grandiloquent critics.

Nevertheless, his album, "Exodus To Jazz", and his sophomore album, "Mighty Like A Rose", remain exemplary and stellar acoustic albums showcasing his talent as a jazz tenor saxophonist, and his 1960s penchant for original interpretations and arrangements, e.g. his adaptations of the Exodus and Spartacus movie themes. This two-fer is an excellent compilation as it combines both of his first Vee Jay albums on one CD. The sixteen songs on this anthology capture Harris' tenor mastery at the beginning of his career. Eight of the songs are originals, six penned by Harris, and two by Willie Pickens, the pianist on the "Exodus To Jazz" album. Harris, accompanied by a fine rhythm section, (piano, guitar, bass, and drums), blows his tenor saxophone masterfully. Noteworthy song selections are his classic "Exodus", the mellifluous "Alicia", a lightly swinging "Mighty Like A Rose", the solemn "God Bless The Child", a poetic version of "Fontessa", an unhurried "Willow Weep For Me", and a softly lilting "There Is No Time".

An all-embracing collection of grooves, each choice is solid gold, featuring music that has stood the test of time and maintains a respectable place in the annals of Jazz. Consequently, this Vee Jay two-fer, today, ranks as a respected work of art, capturing Eddie Harris' unique early acoustic tenor intonation and expression, years ago captivating the attention of countless listeners who thanked him by buying a requisite number of copies of Exodus to honor it as jazz's first gold record. Granted, these early recordings were notably accessible, however, Eddie Harris' legacy encompassed forty more years of diverse artistry and invention. The Vee Jay albums heralded his arrival as one of Jazz's premier innovators, born in Chicago, and a multi-talented regular on both the Chicago and New York music scenes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius., 1 May 2013
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This review is from: Exodus To Jazz & Mighty Like A Rose (Audio CD)
Nice to find Amazon looking after us who like all this old jazz from the most underrated jazz genius of them all Eddie Harris,the first artist to produce a jazz record with Les Mcann that stayed in the charts for weeks much to everyones surprise.
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Exodus To Jazz & Mighty Like A Rose
Exodus To Jazz & Mighty Like A Rose by Eddie Harris (Audio CD - 2000)
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