Joe Harriott-John Mayer Double Quintet – Indo-Jazz Suite

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Were there more justice in jazz history, alto saxophonist Joe Harriott would be acknowledged as a pioneer in the flowering of postbebop explorations in the early 1960s. A Jamaica native, Harriott made his biggest mark in the jazz world with his British quintet when they recorded Free Form and Abstract in the very-early 1960s. His brainy phrases accentuated lots of Caribbean elements (including tactical use of silence) as well as heaps of abstractions. Indo-Jazz Fusion catches Harriott in great form playing in a standard jazz quintet (with one of jazz trumpet’s true greats, Kenny Wheeler) playing alongside a quintet of Indian musicians led by John Mayer. The droning sitars and raga structures, along with the ricochets of Indian hand percussion, make both great solid frames and sliding, dramatic backdrops for Harriott and Wheeler to blow, albeit in measured phrases rather than wide-open amounts. Harriott’s pithy, sometimes piercing phrases are ideal when folded into Wheeler’s wide-tone blowing. It’s certainly a strange recording, but it’s fantastically pulled together. –Andrew Bartlett

Track listings:
1 Overture
2 Contrasts
3 Raga Megha
4 Raga Gaud-Saranga


Alto Saxophone – Joe Harriott
Bass – Coleridge Goode
Drums – Alan Ganley
Flute – Chris Taylor (5)
Piano – Pat Smythe
Sitar – Diwan Motihar
Tabla – Keshav Sathe
Tambura – Chandrahas Paigankar
Trumpet – Kenny Wheeler
Violin, Harpsichord – John Mayer (2)
Written-By – Mayer


Label: Columbia – SX 6025
Series: Lansdowne Series
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: UK
Released: 1966