Richard Dicky Harris

Jazz Trombone Sammy Davis

Born: Nov. 15, 1918 Birmingham, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


This Richard Harris shifted his name down to Dicky Harris early in his career, thus avoiding confusion with the British actor who gets tortured in the film A Man Called Horse. The veteran trombonist still gets mixed up with pedal steel guitarist Dickie Harris, however, leading to the unlikely conclusion that there was once a musician who played in both the James Brown band and Ernest Tubb & the Texas Troubadours. Harris did play with the soul godfather, it is true, remaining a favorite sidekick of that band's superstar trombonist Fred Wesley. Brown had brought a real pro into his band, as Harris already had more than two decades of professional experience behind him. Family ties plunged Harris into a musical bath as a child. Uncle William Harris was a trumpeter, and family friend and music teacher W.W. Handy was a nephew of the famed W.C. Handy, although some mistook him for the man himself, hiding behind a typo. Pianist Frank Hines provided an early professional gig as the trombonist was turning 21, followed by a stint with Erskine Hawkins which ended when a two-year stretch with the Army Air Force Band took priority. In the second half of the '40s the trombonist performed with J.C. Heard, Joe Thomas, and Lucky Millinder. During the '50s, he often served as a foil for the hard-driving tenor saxophones of Arnett Cobb and Illinois Jacquet, and was also in a lovely, if short-lived, brass liaison with trumpeter Buck Clayton. Harris worked more and more on a freelance basis after 1958, often contracting himself to long-running Broadway shows. His tenure with Brown began in 1964, and it could be argued that his riffs on "Out of Sight" represent some of the most widely-heard trombone playing in the history of the instrument. The soul side of his discography also includes recordings with Don Covay, Sam Cooke, and Ruth Brown. Although credited as the trombonist on an Elmore James' side, the instrument itself is inaudible. In the '80s, Harris was still going strong, touring Japan in the company of other jazz veterans. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide


Out Of Sight

CD on Polydor [314 533 080] - D98.Personnel includes: James Brown (vocals, piano, organ); Sammy Lowe (conductor); Les Buie (guitar); Nat Jones (alto saxophone); St. Clair Pinckney, Eldee Williams (tenor saxophone); Maceo Parker (baritone saxophone); McKinley "Mac" Johnson, Ron Tooley, Joe Dupars (trumpet); Bobby Byrd (organ, background vocals); Melvin Parker, Nat Kendrick (drums); The Famous Flames, Bobby Bennett, Eugene "Baby Lloyd" Stallworth (background vocals).Includes liner notes by Harry Weinger and Alan Leeds.Recorded between March 23 and September 15, 1964.Digitally remastered by Gary N. Mayo (Polygram Studios).Personnel: James Brown (vocals, piano, organ); Wallace Richardson, Les Buie, Billy Butler (guitar); Nat Jones, George Dorsey (alto saxophone); Eldee Williams, Al "Brisco" Clark, Jerome Richardson, Sam "The Man" Taylor , Seldon Powell, St. Clair Pinckney (tenor saxophone); Haywood Henry, Maceo Parker (baritone saxophone); Joe Dupars, Dud Bascomb, Johnny Grimes , Ernie Royal, McKinley Johnson, Teddy Washington, Ron Tooley (trumpet); Wilmer Milton, Dicky Harris (trombone); Bobby Byrd (organ, background vocals); Alvin "Fats" Gonder, Ernie Hayes (organ); Melvin Parker, Nat Kendrick (drums); The Famous Flames, Eugene Stallworth, Maretha Stewart, Bobby Bennett (background vocals).Liner Note Author: Alan Leeds.Recording information: Bell Sound, New York, NY (03/23/1964-09/15/1964); New York, NY (03/23/1964-09/15/1964); Universal Studios, Chicago, IL (03/23/1964-09/15/1964).Arranger: Sammy Lowe.Smash Records first released this collection in 1964 when James Brown made his highly publicized moved from the King label. An odd album; outside of a few funky numbers, the material consists of standards -- songs more commonly sung by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, such as "I Wanna Be Around," "Mona Lisa," "Come Rain or Shine," "Nature Boy," and others. Brown does a good job; the man could actually sing ballads -- in the '50s and early '60s he made a reputation singing about love changes and could make you cry with his touching deliveries. But this was 1964, and Brown had a brand-new thing in the form of "Out of Sight," a horn-blaring, rhythmic dancefloor jam that he implodes on. For some reason, Smash put "Maybe the Last Time," one of Brown's best songs, on the flip side, but it was so dominant that it surfaced and became a staple of his concerts. Only three other cuts funk: "Somethin' Else," an early version of "I Got You," and "Good Rockin' Tonight." ~ Andrew Hamilton





All of the recordings cut by the always-underrated Erskine Hawkins Orchestra during a four-year period are reissued on this Classics CD. Actually there is only one cut from 1941 and seven songs from 1942 so the bulk of the set deals with the 1945 edition of the orchestra. In general the instrumentals are much more rewarding than the vocals, featuring solos by the trumpeter/leader, altoist Bobby Smith (who stars on the hit record of "Tippin' In") and tenor-saxophonist Julian Dash. The vocals by James Mitchelle, Ida James, Carol Tucker and Dolores Brown are harmless if forgettable; pianist Ace Harris fares best singing "Caldonia." In addition to "Tippin' In," highlights include "Lucky Seven," "Bear Mash Blues" (a near-classic by Sammy Lowe), "Caldonia," "Good Dip" and "Holiday for Swing." This is the fifth Erskine Hawkins CD from Classics and, due to the consistency of the band, all are recommended. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi



Paul Bascomb (Sax (Tenor)), Erskine Hawkins (Trumpet), Erskine Hawkins (Arranger), Erskine Hawkins (Director), Julian Dash (Sax (Tenor)), Don Cole (Trombone), Wilbur Bascomb, Sr. (Trumpet), Marcellus Green (Trumpet), Haywood Henry (Clarinet), Haywood Henry (Sax (Baritone)), David James (Trombone), Leroy Kirkland (Guitar), Kelly Martin (Drums), Jimmy Mitchelle (Sax (Alto)), Jimmy Mitchelle (Vocals), Avery Parrish (Piano), Avery Parrish (Arranger), Robert Range (Trombone), Edward Sims (Trombone), Leemie Stanfield (Bass), Leemie Stanfield (Sax (Baritone)), Marty Symes (Composer), Delores Brown (Vocals), Chuck Jones (Trumpet), Aaron Maxwell (Sax (Tenor)), William McLemore (Guitar), Norman Green (Trombone), Bobby Smith (Composer), Bobby Smith (Sax (Alto)), Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra (Performer), James Morrison (Drums), Ace Harris (Piano), Ace Harris (Vocals), Sammy Lowe (Trumpet), Sammy Lowe (Arranger), Edward McConney (Drums), Carol Tucker (Vocals), Ida James (Vocals), Bill Moore (Trumpet), Dan Logan (Trombone), Dicky Harris (Trombone), William Johnson (Arranger), William Johnson (Sax (Alto))



Soul Pride: The Instrumentals (1960-1969)

Personnel includes: James Brown (vocals, organ, piano, drums); Alphonso Kellum (guitar, bass); Les Buie, Jimmy Nolen (guitar); Maceo Parker (alto, tenor & baritone saxophones); Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (alto & tenor saxophones, organ); Nat Jones, Clifford "Ace King" MacMillan (saxophone); Levi Rasbury (trumpet, valve trombone); Roscoe Patrick, Roosevelt Brown (trumpet); Clarence "Jay" Johnson, Fred Wesley (trombone); Bobby Byrd (piano, organ); Bernard Odum, "Sweet Charles" Sherrell (bass); Melvin Parker, John "Jabo" Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, Nate Jones (drums).Compilation producers: Harry Weinger, Alan Leeds.SOUL PRIDE is a collection that chronicles instrumentals by the many early incarnations of the James Brown Band (in the days before the JBs). It contains both studio and live recordings, eight of which were previously unreleased, and features the work of Brown's right hand men and arrangers like St. Clair Pinckney, Lewis Hamlin, Sammy Lowe, Nat Jones, Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker. SOUL PRIDE features a 23-page booklet with rare black and white photographs, track annotations, and a historical overview of the band's development by Alan Leeds and Harry Weinger.Personnel: James Brown (vocals, piano, organ, drums); Al "Brisco" Clark (vocals, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); John Starks (vocals, drums); Martha Harvin (vocals); Wallace Richardson, Alphonso "Country" Kellum, Bobby Roach, Les Buie, Jimmy Nolen, Billy Butler (guitar); Walter Foster (harmonica); Pee Wee Ellis (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, organ); Alfred Wellis (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Al Corley, Nat Jones, George Dorsey (alto saxophone); Maceo Parker (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, brass); St. Clair Pinckney (tenor saxophone, brass); Eldee Williams, Clifford MacMillan, J.C. Davis , Sam "The Man" Taylor , Seldon Powell (tenor saxophone); Charles Carr, Frank Henry (baritone saxophone); Levi Rasbury (trumpet, valve trombone); Joe Dupars, Waymon Reed, Robert Knight , Dud Bascomb, Johnny Grimes , Roosevelt Paul Brown, Ernie Royal, Joseph Davis , Lewis Hamlin, Roscoe Patrick, Teddy Washington, Richard "Kush" Griffith, Mack Johnson, Ron Tooley (trumpet); Clarence Johnson , Wilmer Milton, Fred Wesley, Dicky Harris (trombone); Haywood Henry (brass); Bobby Byrd (piano, organ); Clyde Stubblefield, Melvin Parker, David "Panama" Francis, Nate Jones, Clayton Fillyau, Jimmy Robinson , Nat Kendrick, Tim Drummond (drums).Liner Note Authors: Harry Weinger; Alan Leeds.Recording information: Charlotte, NC (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); Cincinnati, OH (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); Dallas, TX (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, Tampa, FL (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); Hollywood, CA (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); Miami, FL (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); New York, NY (10/04/1960-11/20/1969); San Francisco, CA (10/04/1960-11/20/1969).Photographers: Frank Driggs; Charles Stewart; Alan Leeds.Arranger: Sam Lowe.James Brown is known as an eminently soulful vocalist and primary architect of funk, but he's also been a powerful bandleader and a talented instrumentalist. It's these abilities that gave him an intimate understanding of how a band works, and made him able to construct the sophisticated rhythmic underpinnings of his revolutionary music. This two-disc set concentrates on Brown the musician and bandleader, collecting the many instrumentals (and near-instrumentals) he and his band recorded in the '60s. Brown was proficient on both organ and drums, as we can hear throughout SOUL PRIDE.The featured recordings range from 1960 to 1969, and the band's musical development can be easily charted, from the R&B roadhouse shuffles of the early days to the lean, mean, highly syncopated funk of the late '60s. As with his singing, Brown's organ is inventive more in a rhythmic than a melodic way, pushing the grooves along forcefully. His drumming too is simple but swinging, making the time stand up and pay attention. Devoid of Brown's vocals, some of these tracks don't seem as timeless as many of his well-known songs, but SOUL PRIDE represents an important, underexamined part of the James Brown story.













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