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Round Trip by Marilyn Harris

Marilyn Harris’ Round Trip stands out because it features a big band sound and spirit but with fresh, original songs. The vocalist has writing credits on 10 of the disc’s dozen tunes.

Although the album is light on familiar cover tunes, there’s little doubt that Harris drew inspiration from the likes of Count Basie, Nelson Riddle, and Billy May. With the L.A. Jazz All-Stars Big Band, she has created a bold, swinging affair.

Her song "Bebop High" is a fast, name-dropping tribute to the music of the 1940s and 1950s. And "That Afternoon in Harlem" is a tender ballad about an aging jazz singer, "an exiled queen with silver hair."

Harris has a warm, inviting voice, and her delivery is smooth.

She also shows a considerable funny bone with a song called "The Wisdom of Sam Kinison." "Just go where the food is," she advises.

On "They’re Gonna Love Me," Harris takes a pointed but fun jab about the trend of artists becoming famous once they’ve died. "I’m prepared to be the eighth world wonder when I’m planted six feet under," she sings. "I’m sure to earn their trust after I’ve bit the dust." The song’s catchy lyrics and swinging backing make it one of the disc’s highlights.

Harris is joined on the CD by some of Los Angeles' finest musicians and sings a duet with Bob Dorough on "Cool," a song that Clooney and Crosby could have recorded.

Born in Syracuse, N.Y., Harris grew up in Hartford, Connecticut. After graduating college, she worked as a music editor and copyist. She also worked in advertising music, singing and arranging music for commercials. She has composed, produced, and performed more than 200 music cues for different television programs and other productions. She has also released several CDs. Round Trip was recorded in 2005 and 2006.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marilyn Harris
  • CD Title: Round Trip
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Wrightwood Records
  • Tracks: Round Trip, The Cards Keep Comin’, I Don’t Gamble, Bebop High, If He Walked Into My Life, Way Out Here In The Country, That Afternoon In Harlem, Cool, Letting Go, The Wisdom Of Sam Kinison, Twilight World, and They’re Gonna Love Me
  • Musicians: Marilyn Harris (vocals, piano), Bob Dorough (vocals), Andy Martin (trombone), Bill Liston (tenor sax), Mark Wolfram (arranger/producer), John Yoakum (tenor sax, piccolo, alto flute), Don Shelton (alto sax, flute, clarinet), Bruce Otto (trombone), Ralph Humphrey (drums), Wayne Bergeron (trumpet, flugelhorn), Charlie Loper (trombone), Larry Lunetta (trumpet, flugelhorn), Greg Huckins (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Warren Luening (trumpet, flugelhorn), Peter Erskine (drums), Charlie Morillas (bass trombone), Pete Christlieb (tenor sax, alto flute), Chuck Berghofer (bass), Jim Fox (guitar), Rick Baptist (trumpet, flugelhorn), Dan Higgins (alto sax, flute), and Bill Watrous (trombone)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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