Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scott Yanow Reviews Tony Adamo's Listen Here Listen Up

Tony Adamo
Listen Here Listen Up/11/29/14

Tony Adamo is a colorful spoken word artist who is also a highly expressive and soulful singer. “Listen Here Listen Up” is a tribute to the late great tenor-saxophonist Eddie Harris. In his career, Harris had a hit version of “Exodus,” composed “Freedom Jazz Dance,” was an innovator on the electric saxophone, and teamed up with pianist-singer Les McCann on a classic set at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival. He was also a superior improviser and a humorous entertainer.

Homage is paid to Eddie Harris very effectively on “Listen Here Listen Up.” Michael Wolff begins the performance with some bluesy piano worthy of Dr. John. A groove set by the rhythm section (which includes drummer Mike Clark) becomes Harris' "Listen Here.”  Tony Adamo pays verbal tribute to Harris, summing up his life and his legacy to music including his contributions to soul jazz and the birth of acid funk. Donald Harrison wails a bit on his alto sax, before Adamo returns with a little bit of singing and talking, concluding a fun tribute to the great Eddie Harris.

This is a heartwarming performance that will hopefully lead to more listeners discovering the musical magic of Eddie Harris, and the talents of Tony Adamo.

Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers and the Great Jazz Guitarists

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