Astral Signal [Blue Note, 1974]
Astral Signal - A masterpiece from Gene Harris -- an album that's probably been his biggest influence on the sound of soul in the 21st Century, and for good reason too! The set moves way beyond both Harris' acoustic piano roots in the Three Sounds, and his other electric sides of the 70s -- into sublime spacey territory that's wrapped up in soul -- as much a pinnacle of his musical vision as early 70s records were for Herbie Hancock or George Duke! The vibe here is a bit between the looser styles of Duke's MPS recordings, and the tighter grooves of the Mizell generation -- and arrangements are by Harris, Harvey Mason, and Jerry Peters, the latter of whom really adds some great elements to the record. Harvey's drums make for a great funky undercurrent -- and the album features the funky break track "Higga-Boom", the great groover "Losalamitoslatinfunklovesong", and the cuts "Rebato Summer", "Don't Call Me N*gger, Whitey", "Love Talkin", "I Remember Summer", "Green River", and "My Roots".