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Eddie Harris

Biography

Jazz has had a few notable eccentrics, to say the least, and tenor saxophonist Eddie Harris is up there with the quirkiest. His innovations paved the way for huge developments in contemporary jazz. In the '60s, while most jazzers remained deaf to the burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene, Harris embraced it by experimenting with electric saxophones and down-home Jazz-Funk tunes (such as the unforgettable "Cold Duck Time") that pointed toward the Fusion explosion to come. During those years, Harris was also highly successful commercially, landing the hit single "Theme from Exodus" in 1961. As the '60s wore on, Harris changed his format and style so many times that his fans simply could not keep up, rapidly switching between Post Bop, Funk, and Big Band. Later in his career, he began fronting more conventional jazz quartets, but his playing retained its trademark mixture of avant-garde innovations with roots firmly planted in Bop and Blues.
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