The Sounds of Harold’s Horn is an exhibition of the outstanding musicianship of legendary saxophonist Harold Battiste. Battiste has not only been writing music and performing his whole life, he is an author, a teacher, a lecturer, and a mentor to the new generation of Jazz musicians. Through 13 songs, Harold Battiste plays his scaling and sensuous alto and tenor sax (also playing piano in “One Naughty Flat”) while maintaining the practice of allowing each musician to play a long solo, truly showcasing each instrument and getting to know this music more intimately. Harold Battiste’s style is cool and classic; the piano glides effortlessly over the hot drum rhythm, and the deep bass is very present in the mix. Battiste introduces each song to the audience he is playing for live, explaining why this song is so important to him and to jazz before his saxophone lyrically floats over the warm music around it. This album is not just a musical journey, but a multi-sensory sentimental one; the album has over an hour of masterful jazz and the booklet includes letters about Battiste from his friends Kalamu ya Salaam and Jane McNealy and pictures with bandmates Dr. John, Tami Lynn, Larry McKinley, Germaine Bazzle, and Alvin Tyler. Salaam describes this record as, “Harold Battiste’s gift of friendship and love. This is a musician literally offering us his life breath.” That statement is completely true as Harold Battiste breathes life into his horn and makes it sound alive and beautiful. – Emily Hingle
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