Happy 45th: Eddie Harris, INSTANT DEATH
45 years ago today, Eddie Harris recorded the album which would ultimately come to be called INSTANT DEATH.
Generally regarded as one of Harris’s more consistent efforts during his 1970s tenure on Atlantic Records, INSTANT DEATH is likely known best for its title track, where he confirms his skill on the reed trumpet, but it’s a strong effort from top to bottom, thanks to a group of musicians which included keyboardist Richard Abrams, percussionist Henry Gibson, drummer Billy James, and bassist Rufus Reid.
Although it spent way too long in an out-of-print state, INSTANT DEATH is readily available nowadays, and you can give it a spin via Spotify at this very moment. If you’re a jazz fan and you’re never heard it, now you’ve got an opportunity to listen, and we’d personally recommend that you take advantage of it. You won’t be sorry.
By the way, if Harris’s name sounds familiar and you can’t quite work out why, consider the possibility that it’s because you’re a Beastie Boys fan. In the song “Whatcha Want,” you can hear Ad Rock say, “Just plug me in like I was Eddie Harris.” So if you were still teetering on the fence about giving his album a listen, hopefully this has sealed the deal at last, because it doesn’t get much cooler than a Beastie Boys endorsement.