Trombonist, vocalist and composer David L. Harris opens Blues I Felt with a lot of gumption and drama. The Baton Rouge native teams with an A-team of young up-and-comers on the New Orleans jazz scene. Perhaps most notable is the inventive pianist Shea Pierre, who answers the trombonist’s call for an emotional response on self-penned number and album highlight “A Pisces’ Dream.”
It’s natural that Harris’ tune “Dewy’s Notion,” which is dedicated to fellow trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, swings. The toe-tapper, complete with the walking bass of Jasen Weaver, who shows up all over town these days, includes the trombonist trading bars with drummer Miles Labat.
When he’s not working on original material, Harris goes for classic standards such as James Moody’s and Eddie Jefferson’s “Moody’s Mood for Love.” Vocally Harris is most successful on this upbeat number, particularly with his rhythmic delivery of the lyrics. He sounds like he’s smiling. It’s followed by the beautiful ballad “There Is No Greater Love,” on which his trombone “sings” the lyrics before he steps to the microphone. Shea jumps and bounces on the keys and the whole combo gets into the act on this once-dreamy, now-swinging tune.
The title cut, “Blues I Felt,” lives up to its name on an album that reveals Harris’ old-school leanings performed by musicians of today and tomorrow.