MP3 Leigh Harris - Polychrome Junction
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10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover
Recorded in New Orleans in 2000 by the innovative keyboard/percussion/vocal quintet, Roy G Biv, led by vocalist Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris, Polychrome Junction opens with Harris's "Dog Days" (later tapped for re-release on Sony's Doctors, Professors, Kings, and Queens: The Big Ol' Box of New Orleans) : a funk-drenched, witty paean to Crescent City weather ("Down here in the land of the dreamy dream/the air condition stay on past Halloween"), complete with authentic howling about the heat and a blistering tuba solo by "honoary Biv-ouac" Matt Perrine. Jazz standard "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" receives a major groove overhaul with percussionist Michael Skinkus's multilayering of shekere, congas, djali, shakers and bells, and pianist Joshua Paxton & organist David Ellington's adroit, joyous cross-pollination of New Orleans and Afro-Carribean polyrhythms; kit drummer Karl Budo picks up his sticks and lays down a subtle but definite NOLA street beat on "Poinciana". Young tenor saxophonist Rebecca Barry guests on "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" to great effect in both her solo and interplay work with Harris .The dizzying rendition of "Cloudburst" is a standout, and Harris's take on "Candy" will send many listeners to the bedroom or the kitchen--or both. Harris's two other compositions, "Crazy Mirrors" and "Paralyzed" (written with Subdude John Magnie and Bruce MacDonald), vividly explore unrequieted love and sexual obsession. "You Always Knew Me Better (Than I Knew Myself"), written for Harris by Dr John and Doc Pomus, is a soulful, heartwrenching ballad performed as a duet between Harris and Paxton. The final track, Earl King's "Make a Better World", provides plenty of forum for Paxton and Ellington's James Booker/Professor Longhair chops and Harris's undeniable take-no-prisoners way with an R&B classic.
This is a fine archive of an extremely creative group comprised of top-notch musicians living and working in New Orleans, in energetic, fertile flower, containing superb playing and vocalising throughout.
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