|Birth name||Barry Doyle Harris|
|Born||December 15, 1929|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||December 8, 2021 (aged 91)|
North Bergen, New Jersey, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, bandleader, composer, teacher|
|Labels||Prestige, Riverside, Xanadu|
Life and career
Harris was born on December 15, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan, to Melvin Harris and Bessie as the fourth of their five children. Harris took piano lessons from his mother at the age of four. His mother, a church pianist, asked him if he was interested in playing church music or jazz. Having picked the latter, he was influenced by Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. In his teens, he learned bebop largely by ear, imitating solos by Powell. He described Powell's style as being the "epitome" of jazz. He performed for dances in clubs and ballrooms. He was based in Detroit through the 1950s and worked with Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, and Thad Jones, and substituted for Junior Mance in the Gene Ammons band. In 1956, he toured briefly with Max Roach, after Richie Powell, the band's pianist and younger brother of Bud Powell, died in a car crash.
Harris performed with Cannonball Adderley's quintet and on television with them. After moving to New York City, he worked as an educator and performed with Dexter Gordon, Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef and Hank Mobley. Between 1965 and 1969, he worked extensively with Coleman Hawkins at the Village Vanguard.
During the 1970s, Harris lived with Monk at the Weehawken, New Jersey, home of the jazz patron Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. He substituted for Monk in rehearsals at the New York Jazz Repertory Company in 1974.
In Japan, he performed at the Yubin Chokin concert hall in Tokyo over two days, and his performances were recorded and compiled into an album released by Xanadu Records. Between 1982 and 1987, he led the Jazz Cultural Workshop on 8th Avenue in New York.
From the 1990s onwards, Harris collaborated with Howard Rees on videos and workbooks documenting his harmonic and improvisational systems and teaching process. He held music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, students of piano and other instruments.
Harris appeared in the 1989 documentary film Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (produced by Clint Eastwood's own production company), performing duets with Tommy Flanagan. In 1999, he was profiled in the film Barry Harris: Spirit of Bebop.
Jazz Cultural Theatre
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2022)
Larry Ridley, Barry Harris, Jim Harrison, and Frank Fuentes were partners in creating the Jazz Cultural Theatre beginning 1982. Located at 368 Eighth Avenue in New York City in a storefront between 28th and 29th Streets in Manhattan, it was primarily a performance venue featuring prominent jazz artists and also hosted jam sessions. Additionally, it was known for Harris's music classes for vocalists and instrumentalists, each taught in separate sessions. Several artists recorded albums at the club, including Barry on his For the Moment. Some of the many musicians and notable jazz figures who appeared at the Jazz Cultural Theatre were bassist Larry Ridley, guitarist Ted Dunbar, pianist Jack Wilson, trumpeter Bill Hardman, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, trumpeter Tommy Turrentine, alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, pianist Mickey Tucker, guitarist Peter Leitch, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, guitarist Mark Elf, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, drummer Leroy Williams, drummer Vernel Fournier, drummer Jimmy Lovelace, bassist Hal Dotson, bassist Jamil Nasser, pianist Chris Anderson, pianist Walter Davis, Jr., pianist Michael Weiss, tap dancers Lon Chaney and Jimmy Slyde, Francis Paudras (biographer of pianist Bud Powell), and Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, who would park her silver Bentley sedan in front of the club.
Awards and honors
- 2000 American Jazz Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievements & Contributions to the World of Jazz
- 1998 Lifetime Achievements Award for Contributions to the Music World from the National Association of Negro Musicians
- 1998 Congratulatory Letter as a Jazz Musician and Educator by the U.S. White House
- 1997 Dizzy Gillespie Achievement Award
- 1997 Recognition of Excellence in Jazz Music and Education
- 1995 Doctor of Arts - Honorary Degree by Northwestern University
- 1995 Presidential Award, Recognition of Dedication and Commitment to the Pursuance of Artistic Excellence in Jazz Performance and Education
- 1995 Honorary Jazz Award by the House of Representatives
- 1989 NEA Jazz Master
|Recording date||Title||Label||Year released||Personnel/Notes|
|1958-07||Breakin' It Up||Argo||1959||Trio, with William Austin (bass), Frank Gant (drums)|
|1960-05||Barry Harris at the Jazz Workshop||Riverside||1960||Trio, with Sam Jones (bass), Louis Hayes (drums); in concert|
|1960-12||Listen to Barry Harris||Riverside||1961||Solo piano|
|Preminado||Riverside||1961||One track solo piano; other tracks trio, with Joe Benjamin (bass), Elvin Jones (drums)|
|1961-09||Newer Than New||Riverside||1961||Quintet, with Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), Charles McPherson (alto sax), Ernie Farrow (bass), Clifford Jarvis (drums)|
|Chasin' the Bird||Riverside||1962||Trio, with Bob Cranshaw, (bass), Clifford Jarvis (drums)|
|1967-04||Luminescence!||Prestige||1967||Sextet, with Slide Hampton (trombone), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Bob Cranshaw (bass), Lenny McBrowne (drums)|
|1968-06||Bull's Eye!||Prestige||1968||Some tracks trio, with Paul Chambers (bass), Billy Higgins (drums); some tracks quintet, with Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Charles McPherson (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax) added|
|1969-11||Magnificent!||Prestige||1970||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|1972||Vicissitudes||MPS||1975||Trio, with George Duvivier (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|1975-06||Barry Harris Plays Tadd Dameron||Xanadu||1975||Trio, with Gene Taylor (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|1976-04||Live in Tokyo||Xanadu||1976||Trio, with Sam Jones (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); in concert|
|1978-01||Barry Harris Plays Barry Harris||Xanadu||1978||Trio, with George Duvivier (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|1979-09||The Bird of Red and Gold||Xanadu||1982||Solo piano; Harris also sings on one track|
|1984-03||For the Moment||Uptown||1985||Trio, with Rufus Reid (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); in concert|
|1990-03||Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Volume Twelve||Concord||1991||Solo piano; in concert|
|1991-09||Confirmation||Candid||1992||Quartet, with Kenny Barron (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), Ben Riley (drums); in concert|
|1991-12||Barry Harris in Spain||Nuba||1992||Trio, with Chuck Israels (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); in concert|
|1995-05||Live at "Dug"||Enja||1997||Trio, with Kunimitsu Inaba (bass), Fumio Watanabe (drums); in concert|
|1996-10||First Time Ever||Alfa Jazz||1997||Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|1998-04||I'm Old Fashioned||Alfa Jazz||1998||Most tracks trio, with George Mraz (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); two tracks with Barry Harris Family Chorus (vocals) added|
|2000-06||The Last Time I Saw Paris||Venus||2000||Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)|
|2002-08||Live in New York||Reservoir||2003||Quintet, with Charles Davis (tenor sax), Roni Ben-Hur (guitar), Paul West (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); in concert|
|2004-05||Live from New York!, Vol. One||Lineage||2006||Trio, with John Webber (bass), Leroy Williams (drums); in concert|
|2009-11||Live in Rennes||Plus Loin||2010||Trio, with Mathias Allamane (bass), Philippe Soirat (drums); in concert|
- Bebop scale, one of the education tools in jazz that Harris pioneered
- Russonello, Giovanni (2021-12-09). "Barry Harris, Pianist and Devoted Scholar of Bebop, Dies at 91". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
- Milkowski, Bill (1998). "Barry Harris: Young-hearted elder". Jazz Times.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 190/1. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
- Barry Harris: Spirit of Bebop. Efor Films. 2004.
- Barry Kernfeld, ed. (2002). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz Second edition. London, England: Macmillan. p. 177. ISBN 033369189X.
- Greg Thomas (16 July 2012). "Bebop legend Barry Harris set to burn up Village Vanguard with 2-week gig". New York Daily News. New York. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Watrous, Peter. "Be-Bop's Generous Romantic", The New York Times, May 28, 1994. Accessed June 2, 2008. "Mr. Harris moved to New York in the early 1960s and became friends with Thelonious Monk and Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, Mr. Monk's patron. Eventually, Mr. Harris moved to her estate in Weehawken, N.J., where he still lives."
- Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (1988). Jazz The Essential Companion. New York: Prentice Hall Press. ISBN 0-13-509274-4.
- Greg Thomas (July 16, 2012). "Bebop legend Barry Harris set to burn up Village Vanguard with 2-week gig". New York Daily News. New York. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- "Evolutionary Voicings, Part 1 – Howard Rees' Jazz Workshops". Jazzworkshops.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "About Howard Rees – Howard Rees' Jazz Workshops". Jazzworkshops.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "Barry Harris Residency April 7 through 10". Brown.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "Barry Harris Spirit of Bebop". Library of Congress. Retrieved November 21, 2023.
- Stryker, Mark (2021-12-08). "Barry Harris, beloved jazz pianist devoted to bebop, dies at 91". NPR. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
- "Larry Ridley - Biography". Larryridley.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-28. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "Recognition Awards to Barry Harris for Outstanding Devotion to Music and Education". Barryharris.com. 2014.
- "Barry Harris facts, information, pictures". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
- "Barry Harris Discography". Jazzdisco.org. Retrieved December 20, 2018.