Eddie Harris & Ellis Marsalis: Deacceleration
Homecoming (ELM 19789)
Recorded: Dallas, TX, September 12, 1985
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
This refreshing recording session featuring the Chicago-born Eddie Harris and the New Orleans native Ellis Marsalis took place in 1985. Having worked successfully as a duo in a New Orleans club in the mid-eighties, the two successfully duplicate the alchemy of their live performances in this studio session. The lack of a rhythm section in no way diminishes the effectiveness of this session, relying instead on Marsalisís creative use of variations of tempo and attack in his accompaniment. On the Harris composition "Deacceleration", the two show an affinity that is palpable, playing off each otherís spontaneous ideas. Building in and out of dramatic tension in this clever composition, Marsalis sets the stage for the incendiary saxophonist, who enters in his squealing high-register attack mode. In the reprise, they build to an impressive peak, then segue into a softened refrain which moves from a lulling, reflective stillness into a poignant, fading cry. Thankfully, this gem gets a second chance for renewed appreciation.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello