Donald Harrison – Nouveau Swing (1997)

FrontCover1Harrison began his professional career in music playing with Doc Paulin’s New Orleans Brass Band at the age of 16. Three years later he was playing in NY with Roy Haynes at 19 . Haarison and went on to play with Jack McDuff, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Lena Horne, Miles Davis, Tony Williams, and Don Pullen in the 1980s. He also played with the re-formed Headhunters band in the 1990s. In 1991 he recorded “Indian Blues,” which captured the sound and culture of Congo Square’s off shoot culture in a jazz context. In 1994 Harrison created a new style of jazz called “Nouveau Swing”, which merges the swing beat with many of today’s popular funk and soul dance styles of music. Presently, Harrison tours leading his own groups, is a member of a trio with Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham super trio, is a member of The Cookers, and play’s with The Headhunter’s. On television Harrison was featured in Spike Lee’s HBO documentary, When the Levees Broke, and has appeared as himself in 11 episodes of HBO’s Treme where the characters Albert and Delmond Lambreaux are based on aspects of his life and the innovative jazz music he created. Another important aspect of Harrison is his work as a band leader who nurtured many young musicians into becoming band leaders. This work led to him becoming an educator at The Tipitina’s Foundation where he helps many more students. Harrison is also a Big Chief in Afro-New Orleans culture an offshoot culture of the famous Congo Square where Africans played drums in the 1700’s and 1800’s. He participates in costume making, drumming, singing. (by

DonaldHarrisonOn his Impulse! Records debut, Donald Harrison mixes his usual straight-ahead work with rhythmic elements from tropical climates. Albert Wonsey plays appropriate piano on all tracks, though Harrison employs two different rhythm sections, Christian McBride and Carl Allen for the more conventional tunes and Ruben Rogers and Dion Parson for the others. The others include “Bob Marley,” twhich borrows its rhythmic feel from such later Marley songs as “Exodus”; “Little Flowers,” which also has a Caribbean lilt; “Septembro,” the requisite samba; and “Duck’s Groove,” the requisite New Orleans second-line number. The concept is slight and inconsistently applied, as if Harrison was looking for something distinctive, but not too challenging. As ever, he is a proficient alto player with a comfortable retro style. But one might have expected more from producer Tommy LiPuma, who is usually able to make things lively even if not impressive, and one certainly hoped for more from Harrison, who is too old to be a young turk yet still shows no signs of mature mastery. (by William Ruhlmann)


Carl Allen (drums on 01., 03. – 05., 08., 10. + 13.)
Donald Harrison (saxophone)
Christian McBride (bass on 01., 03., 05. – 08., 10.)
Dion Parson (drums on 02., 04., 09. + 12.)
Reuben Rogers (bass on 02., 04., 09., 11. – 13.)
Anthony Wonsey (piano)

01. Nouveau Swing (Harrison) 5.36
02. Bob Marley (Harrison) 5.58
03. Come Back Jack (Nocenteli) 5.09
04. Little Flowers (Harrison) 6.13
05. Eighty-One (Davis/Carter) 5.26
06. Sincerely Yours (Harrison) 6.38
07. Septembro (Lins/Peranzzetta) 5.00
08. One Of A Kind (Harrison) 3.28
09. New Hope (Harrison) 7.18
10. Christopher Jr. (Harrison) 5.01
11. South Side People (Harrison) 1.10
12. Dance Hall (Harrison) 6.42
13. Duck’s Groove (Harrison) 0.53
14. Amazing Grace )Traditional) 0.50


Various Artists – Ballads – Tomorrow´s Jazz Classics (2003)



From the label history:
Like many other enterprises that just sort of come into being, nagel heyer records, of Hamburg, Germany, was never planned. It all started on George Gershwin’s birthday, September 26, 1992. We produced a jazz concert of Gershwin music, which was recorded live just to have a souvenir of the event. The recording was a great success thanks to the superb musicians who played on it: George Masso, Randy Sandke, Kenny Davern, Danny Moss, Eddie Higgins, Len Skeat, and Jake Hanna. Because of that seven live recordings of concerts in Hamburg followed in 1993.

Since then we have recorded over 200 titles and the label’s mission is to present the finest in modern and mainstream jazz. nagel heyer’s recent catalogue includes recordings by jazz greats such as Marc Copland, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, Greg Osby, Clark Terry, Donald Harrison, Bill Charlap, Terell Stafford, Harry Allen, Buck Clayton, Ralph Sutton, Howard Alden, Bob Wilber and Warren Vaché amongst others.

NagelHeyerLogonagel heyer records aspires to become one of the most influential independent jazz labels of the future (“…it’s not hard to say that nagel heyer are out-majoring the so-called ‘majors’.” Tim Dorset, Jazz Review), combining a healthy respect and high regard for jazz’s glorious past with a vision that looks eagerly toward jazz’s bright future.

Frank Nagel-Heyer, President/CEO of nagel heyer, himself observes “there is amazing amount of wonderful talent to be heard far and wide in the jazz world today. nagel heyer will continue to expose both established and emerging young artists.” Marcus Printup, Wayne Escoffery, Dylan Cramer, Lyambiko, David Gibson, Roy Powell, Ken Peplowski, Denis Gaebel, and Byron Stripling are but some of the emerging artists signed to the label.

It is no coincidence that reviewers wrote about us:

“Followers of the nagel heyer label know what to expect from this high quality, amazingly consistent German firm – hot, live, combo-jam performances by some of the best swing-orientated jazzmen in the world today.” Jack Sohmer, Jazz Times

“What’s the difference between mainstream, then and now? If Concord sets the standard for this kind of album two decades back, then nagel heyer are flying the same flag even higher now.” Richard Cook, Jazz Review

nagel heyer has a love affair with jazz. Each recording is a product of warmth, precision and meticulous attention to detail. Sound is mastered to perfection. Track selection and editing is a delicate and diligent collaboration of artist, engineer and producer. Both live and studio discs are available. That’s why the German label has achieved a near legendary status amongst the critics and the International jazz public at large.

BackCover1And this is brilliant sampler: 12 soulful jazz ballads (plus catalog in the booklet), the perfect music for a hot and lazy sunday … And I will hear this album during my holidays in Italy in August … and: that´s why I love music !

01. Martin Sasse Trio feat. Peter Bernstein: Search For Love (Sasse) 7.20
02. Marc Copland & Greg Osby: Silent Attitude (Osby) 5.04
03. Lyambiko: Tenderly (Gross/Lawrence) 5.25
04. Loren Stillman: Happy (Stillman) 6.31
05. Eric Reed: I Love You Lord (Reed) 6.50
06. Wycliffe Gordon: I Can`t Get Started (Duke/I.Gershwin) 8.08
07. Donald Harrison & Ron Carter: My Funny Valentine (Rodgers/Hart) 8.13
08. Harry “Sweets” Edison: Wave (Jobim) 8.44
09. Stephan Noel Lang: Parting (Lang) 6.07
10. Peter Weninger & Martin Wind: Little Prayer (Wind) 4.16
11. Ken Peplowski Quartet: Ballad For Very Tired And Very Sad Lotus Eaters (Strayhorn) 4.32
12. Claus Koch: Ghost Of A Chance (Crosby/Washington/Young) 6.11