PHOTOS / REPORT: Barry Harris at the Watermill Dorking

Barry Harris
Photo credit: Brian O'Connor / Images of Jazz


Prior to a four-night stint at the Pizza Express in Soho,and some teaching, Detroit piano legend Barry Harris played at the Watermill in Dorking on 27 June 2017. Report by Graham Thomas:

At 87, Barry Harris looks a bit frail now and walked with some difficulty to the piano at the Watermill, Dorking. But once seated, he played beautifully, concentrating on ballads and mid-tempo tunes, with a clear tone and rich harmonies. He played several tunes by pianists: Ruby My Dear (Monk), She (George Shearing), Lotus Blossom (Strayhorn), I'll Keep Loving You (Bud Powell). He resurrected an old Rudy Vallee tune called Deep Night which sounded great in his hands. He ended with a slow ballad which he called One Step at a Time, it was only after a while that it became clear it was really Giant Steps. Barry said 'All the young kids nowadays play that tune too fast!'.


Dave Green
Photo credit: Brian O'Connor / Images of Jazz


His trio consisted of Dave Green (bass) and Steve Brown (drums) who provided superb support and had to keep very alert indeed: he admitted afterwards he only played two of the tunes he'd agreed with them beforehand. Barry made some pointed comments on age and the aches and pains it brings:  'Come and see me again, but don't wait too long!'

Receiving the applause
L-R: Barry Harris, Dave Green, Steve Brown
Photo credit: Brian O'Connor / Images of Jazz

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