Straight No Chaser – 1982
Bebop from four of the best
In his long career, pianist Barry Harris has done his best to keep bebop alive, frequently interpreting the songs of Bud Powell, Tadd Dameron, and Thelonious Monk.
For this concert from Italy in 1982, Harris is joined by Monk’s long-time tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Ben Riley (who also played with Monk).
On the straight-ahead blues “Straight No Chaser,” Rouse (who had left Monk’s group 13 years before) is still heard in his prime, taking an improvisation that is similar to what he would have played during his ten years with Thelonious, making the group for a time sound a lot like Monk’s quartet.
Harris follows with a classic solo worthy of Bud Powell and Williams, and Riley gets their spots before the excellent performance ends.