Mr. Harris always brought the party with him. His was an ebullient, blues-based music, usually in the soul jazz vein. 40+ year recording career, split into 2 phases. His trio recordings from the '50's-'60's with the 3 Sounds sound fresh today, and when Ray Brown brought him out of retirement in the '80's with bands/large bands--well, there wasn't another like him. He lived a long time in a jazz-obscure place so was not better known (fans and critics can be such snobs). His Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Harris His Site, primarily about the annual tribute concert in his adopted home town: http://www.geneharris.org/ << The joy projected in that pic was the way he was. Discog of compilations: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/gene-...y/compilations << Best way to get to know him and his work. That Concord "Best of" 2-CD set covers his later work (Concord Records); the Dusty Groove/Real Gone covers his earlier work. Either is to be got for about $10 total from the Usual Suspect. His 2 recordings Live at the "it" Club are jazz funk at its best so when you've absorbed the 2 recordings above, they're the next step.
NOTE: His accessibility and sense of joy makes him perfect for introducing folks to real jazz piano--never stuffy or dry--dance music even. I'm going long here because he had so many facets...and I love every one.
Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HseNEBjuSig << Hearing this today triggered this Thread << Good rendition but not a real sense of what he's about... One of those "that guy wrote it so this guy could play it" thingies
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON7Qb2q2EYk << The best perf of his signature piece
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7KKx-gL-RA << Jim Mullen q.v. on guitar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHB-2E4K8-c << funk jazz--not to everybody's taste
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3T_gHWXyt4 << The greatest trio ever?...except all others with Ray Brown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96QAxlLqOmo << Sure captures and displays every essence of a tune, doesn't he?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzCfH9Nu5_c << with Scott Hamilton, a great partnership
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onBgXLdSlgI << From a whisper to a scream, then other places, then back home again
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T5Ko7CpRkc << languid and lovely...the song, I mean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfNIVdnz1FQv << Something a bit different--Ferrante and Teischer it ain't. Roger Kellaway is his own kind of "WOW!"
BONUS: 45-minute "Superband" concert from '89: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssdKYwJ6WUQ