Joe Harriott discography...
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Joe Harriott discography - 1...
Born in Jamaica in 1928, Joe Harriott first played in the Jamaican big swing bands of Jack Brown and Eric Dean and by 1948 The Jamaican All-Stars. Other bands he played with included the Silvershine Band, The Sonny Bradshaw Septet and a spell with a trans-Atlantic cruise ship band in 1951 that led him to the UK and London.
With introductions from Dizzy Reece he began gigging around the London clubs such as the Sunset Club, in Carnaby Street and the popular Feldman Club as well as working in the band of fellow Jamaican Pete Pitterson. He spent a year with the unrecorded Joe Muddel Sextet and appeared with Cab Kaye and His Cabinettes, The Jazz at The Flamingo Unit, Dizzy Reece's Headliners and the Leon Roy Big Band.

In 1954 he replaced Tommy Whittle in the Tony Kinsey combo at the Studio 51 Club and stayed with them until 1955. The group billed as The Tony Kinsey Trio with Joe Harriott was a very successful live attraction and recorded regularly for Esquire Records.
After Kinsey his solo career led him to explore other avenues of music. He recorded a couple of "with strings" titles and led his own quartet for a while before, in August 1955, signing up to Ronnie Scott's ill-starred big band venture. When this folded he joined Phil Seamen's Quintet and spent six months from January 1956 with what proved to be a somewhat volatile and erratic outfit that went commercially unrecorded. The nearest it got to being recorded was the July 6th, 1956 date, (detailed below), which was in effect Seamen's group minus guitarist Dave Goldberg.

At the start of 1957 he re-joined Tony Kinsey who had now expanded his group to a quintet and the band debuted with the Jazz Couriers on April 7th at the opening of The Flamingo Club's new premises in Wardour Street.
At the end of the 1950s he was a very fine player in a conventional post-bop mould. Initially a follower of Charlie Parker he was never a slavish copyist and was always seeking out new musical experiences. In 1958 he formed an important quintet that survived for five years with few changes in personnel.
This was his own music, unlike the other free jazz being developed by Ornette Coleman in the USA which still had rhythmic links to convential jazz. Harriott's abstraction used silences as well as one player improvisations without rhythm or harmony. This music was not popular with the paying listeners and he later added Indian music to create Indo -Jazz fusions. He also dabbled with "Poetry and Jazz" and other, what seemed odd, musical groupings. His achievements went unrecognized in the UK and it became impossible for him to earn a living from this obscure music. He could not afford pay a group and, always a loner, he became a bit of an outcast playing odd gigs with pick-up rhythm sections, often with nowhere to sleep afterwards.
The tragedy was that he was a superb conventional musician, an original and compelling soloist with a superb technique and tone and able to play in small groups, big bands or his own fusion groups. His early style had the searing quality of Charlie Parker and in later years he coupled this with a technique on a par with John Coltrane.
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Joe Harriott

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He was one of the most exciting musicians to play jazz in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. Initially a Charlie Parker disciple he developed his own style and took British jazz in a new direction. He felt comfortable in many musical environments and played and recorded with many different types of group, far more than any other jazz man of his time. His discography spans trad jazz, poetry, string orchestras, latin, rock, Indo fusion, mainstream and more...
He died in poverty and alone on January 2nd, 1973 at the early age of 44 from TB and cancer of the spine.
His 'free form' music was recorded regularly in the early 1960s, usually with Shake Keane, but his later fusion music and his work with poetry was not understood by the people who went to the clubs or bought jazz records and his early adulation turned eventually to neglect.
Harriott's life was always turbulent and complicated and much has been written about him. A good introductory view of his early music and philosophy can be found in Jazz Monthly magazine of January 1965, if a copy can be tracked down...

Joe Harriott Quintet...
Frank Holder was a popular singer and percussionist with the Johnny Dankworth Seven and the Dankworth big band in the 1950s and he also worked with Joe Harriott for a time in 1960. He says of Joe: "He was a West Indian gentleman, dressed correctly, took care to speak well, but when he picked up his instrument he was a different person. There was a wildness in his playing. That was Joe." Later Harriott became disillusioned and the singer understood why: He was way above anything here at the time, and equal to anything that was happening in the States. But he never got the recognition....

Thanks are due to Graham Wood for his detailed help in preparing these two Joe Harriott discographical pages. This page covers the period to the end of 1960. A second page covers from 1961 to 1970 the year of Joe's last recording...

Joe Harriott Quartet - February, 1954 (Melodisc EPM7-117) (JMC10)
Joe Harriott (as), Dill Jones (p), Jack Fallon (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Summertime*/April In Paris*/Cherokee*/Out Of Nowhere*.
(*Jasmine CD - Bop-In' Britain - Vol 2)
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


Kenny Graham's Afro Cubists - April 27th, 1954 (Esquire)
Dizzy Reece (tp), Kenny Graham (ts), Joe Harriott (as), Eddie Mordue (bs), Freddy Logan (b), Ginger Johnson (d).
The Continental/Cottontail/Fascinating Rhythm/Blues In The Night.

Tony Kinsey Trio with Joe Harriott - May 13th, 1954 (Esquire EP82) (JMC6)
Joe Harriott (as), Bill Le Sage (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Last Resort*/Best Behaviour*/How Deep Is The Ocean*/Get Happy*.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(*Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)

Originally issued in the African market only the Highlifer's personnel includes former British be-bop pioneer trumpeter Pete Pitterson who played at Club XI and in the Leon Roy bebop big band
Buddy Pipp's Highlifers - Autumn, 1954 (Lyragon J728 & J730#)
Buddy Pipp (cga), Pete Pitterson (tp), Joe Harriott, Bruce Turner (as), Oscar McKay (p), Denny Wright (g), Joe Sampson (b), Tony Kinsey (d), Alf Hayward (perc).
Ghana Special/Sway/Akee Blues*#/Positive Action#.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


Tony Kinsey Trio with Joe Harriott - September 22nd, 1954 (Esquire)
Joe Harriott (as), Bill Le Sage (p,vib), Sammy Stokes (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Jump For Me*/Can't We Be Friends*/Raymond*/Nice Work If You Can Get It*.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(*Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)

Tony Kinsey Trio with Joe Harriott - December 9th, 1954 (Esquire EP52* - EP36^) (JMC7)
Joe Harriott (as), Bill Le Sage (p,vib), Sammy Stokes (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Chirracahua^/Teddi^/The Song Is You*/It Don't Mean A Thing*#.
(*^Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*^Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(#Giant Steps 2CD set - Soho After Dark 'London's '50s Modern Jazz Scene')
(*^Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)

Kenny Baker and Jazz Today Unit - February 21st, 1955 (Polygon JTL1)
Kenny Baker (tp), Joe Harriott (as), Keith Christie (tb), Bruce Turner (as), Jimmy Skidmore (ts), Harry Klein (bs), Dill Jones (p), Cedric West (g), Frank Clarke (b), Eric Delaney (d).
Blues In Threes*.
(*Castle 3 CD box set - Too Hot - The Best of British Mainstream Jazz)
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)

(*Vocalion CD - Kenny Baker & The Jazz Today Unit - Operation Jam Session)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


Melody Maker's All-Stars - March 7th, 1955 (Esquire EP56)
Kenny Baker (tp), Keith Christie (tb), Vic Ash (cl), Johnny Dankworth, Joe Harriott (as), Ronnie Chamberlain, (ts,sops), Tommy Whittle (ts), Harry Klein (as,bs), Vic Feldman (vib), Bill McGuffie (p), Tito Burns (acc), Bert Weedon (g), Joe Muddel (b), Eric Delaney (d).
Waxing The Winners (Part 1)/Waxing The Winners (Part 2).

Tony Kinsey Quartet - May 17th, 1955 (Decca DFE6282)
Joe Harriott (as), Bill Le Sage (p,vib), Eric Dawson (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Introduction^/Harlem#/She's Funny That Way#/Fascinating Rhythm#*.
(#Harkit CD - The Decca Sessions)
(#^Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(#^Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(*Giant Steps 2CD set - Soho After Dark 'London's '50s Modern Jazz Scene')
(#^Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)

Joe Harriott Quartet with strings - May 27th, 1955 (Joe Harriott with strings - Polygon JTE106)
Joe Harriott (as), Max Harris (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Phil Seamen (d), + 6 piece string section.
I'll Remember April*/Easy To Love*.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


Joe Harriott Quartet - June 21st, 1955 (Columbia DC701)
Joe Harriott (as), Max Harris (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Don't Blame Me/What Is This Thing Called Love/Dickybird/My Old Flame.

Lita Roza with the Tony Kinsey Quartet - July, 1955 (Listening in the after-hours - Decca LF1243)
Lita Roza (vcl), Joe Harriott (as), Bill Le Sage (p), Eric Dawson (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
That Old Black Magic*/Guilty*/Don't Worry About Me*/You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To*/Too Marvellous For Words*/I Don't Want To Walk Without You*/The Nearness Of You*/You'll Never Know*#.
(*Vocalion CD - Listening In The After-Hours/Love Is The Answer)
(#Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(#Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(*Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)

Joe Harriott Quartet - August 24th, 1955 (Nixa NJE 1003)
Joe Harriott (as), Max Harris (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Everything Happens To Me*#/Just Friends*#/Just Goofin'#/Joe's Blues#.
(*Castle 3 CD box set - Too Hot - The Best of British Mainstream Jazz)
(#Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(#Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


Ronnie Scott Orchestra - October 11th, 1955 (Esquire EP85) (JMC28)
Stan Palmer, Hank Shaw, Dave Usden, Jimmy Watson, (tp) Jack Botterill, Robin Kaye, Mac Minshull, Ken Wray (tb), Joe Harriott, Doug Robinson (as), Pete King, Ronnie Scott (ts), Benny Green (bs), Norman Stenfalt (p), Eric Peter (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Bang*#/With Every Breath I Take*/A Night In Tunisia*#/The Big Fist*#.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Records 4CD Box set - Ronnie Scott "Boppin' With Scott")
(#Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)


George Chisholm and his Orchestra - March 29th, 1956 (Decca LK4147)
George Chisholm (tb), Joe Harriott (as), Bob Burns (cl,ts), Harry Klein (bs), Max Harris (p), Jack Llewelyn (g), Joe Muddel (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Makin' Whoopee*/I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues*#/Georgetta*#.
(*Vocalion CD - "Chis" The Art of George Chisholm)
(#Retrospective CD - George Chisholm The Gentleman of Jazz - A Centenary Tribute)

Joe Harriott Quartet - July 6th, 1956 (MGM EP615) (JM1157)
Joe Harriott (as), Johnny Weed (p), Major Holley (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Blues Original*/My Heart Belongs To Daddy*.
(*Giant Steps CD - Killer Joe: Birth Of A Legend)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)
(*Harkit CD - Jazz Britannia '56!)


The recording detailed below was made at a house party in London after a gig in1956 but was not released at the time. In January, 2011 Gearbox Records issued a limited edition 12" LP titled Partying with Joe...
Joe Harriott Quartet - c1956 (Gearbox Records - GB1506)
Joe Harriott (as), Johnny Weed (p), Major Holley (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Blues/Embraceable You/What Is This Thing Called Love/Sounds Of The Party

The recording detailed below was made at the BBC Studios in London some time in 1956 but was never released in any format until Gearbox Records issued a limited edition of 500 LPs in June, 2011...
Phil Seamen Quintet - 1956 (Gearbox GB1508)
Joe Harriott (as), Dave Goldberg (g), Johnny Weed (p), Major Holley (b), Phil Seamen (d).
My Heart Belongs to Daddy/Poinciana/Big Man.

Tony Kinsey Quintet - May 16th, 1957 (Decca)
Joe Harriott (as), Bob Efford (ts), Bill Le Sage (p,vib), Pete Blannin (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
Hi-ya*/Fishin' The Blues*/I'm Beginning To See The Light*/Mystery Of The Marie Celeste*/Pict's Lament*/Just Goofin'*#.
(*Vocalion CD - Introducing Tony Kinsey Quintet/Jazz At The Flamingo)
(*Acrobat 6CD set - The Tony Kinsey Collection 1953 - 1961)
(#Giant Steps 2CD set - Soho After Dark 'London's '50s Modern Jazz Scene')

The Melody Maker's All-Stars - October, 1957 (Nixa NJT509 )
Kenny Baker, Eddie Blair, Bert Courtley (tp), George Chisholm, Keith Christie, Don Lusher (tb), Joe Harriott (as), Don Rendell, Jimmy Skidmore (ts), Harry Klein (bs), Bill Le Sage (vib), Dave Lee (p), Johnny Hawksworth (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Top score*/Mood Indigo*.
(*Castle 3CD box set - Too Hot - The Best of British Mainstream Jazz)
(*Real Gone Jazz 4 CD set - Don Rendell Six Classic Albums plus bonus tracks)

Allan Ganley Quartet - November 19th, 1957 (Nixa NJE1046) (JM0658)
Joe Harriott (as), Stan Jones (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Margona*/I Feel a Song Coming On#*/Stewpot*/Mean To Me*.
(#Castle 3CD box set - Too Hot - The Best of British Mainstream Jazz)
(*Acrobat CD - Allan Ganley: The Complete Quartet & Jazzmakers Session 1957-59)

Joe Harriott Quintet - May 5th, 1959 (Columbia SEG7939) (JM1259)
Joe Harriott (as), Hank Shaw (tp), Harry South (p), Coleridge Goode (b), Bobby Orr (d).
Senor Blues*/Still Goofin'*/Count Twelve*/Jumpin' With Joe*.
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)
(*Fresh Sound 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Southern Horizons + Free Form + Abstract)
(*Real Gone Jazz 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Three Classic Albums)

Al Fairweather and pals - September 30th, 1959 (Al's Pals - Columbia 33SX 1221)
Al Fairweather (tp), Tony Milliner (tb), Joe Harriott (as), Bob Burns (ts), Cliff Townsend (bs), Sandy Brown (cl), Stan Greig (p), Jack Fallon (b), Lennie Hastings (d).
Beat Meat/Four Or Five Times/Jim-Jam/Sue's Blues.

Joe Harriott Quintet - April 8th*, 21st, 1960 (Columbia (1)SEG8070)
Joe Harriott (as), Shake Keane (tp), Harry South (p), Coleridge Goode (b), Bobby Orr (d), Frank Holder (bgo).
Caravan(1)*/Liggin'(1)*+/Southern Horizons^/You Go To My Head*/Tuesday Morning Swing*.
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)
(*^Fresh Sound 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Southern Horizons + Free Form + Abstract)
(+Acrobat CD - British Modern Jazz Singles, EP tracks & Rarities 1960 - 62)
(*^Real Gone Jazz 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Three Classic Albums)

Harry South Orchestra - BBC broadcast November 10th, 1960
Jimmy Deuchar, Derrick Abbott, Ian Hamer, Bert Courtley (tp), Keith Christie, Lad Busby, Ken Wray, Ray Premru (tb), Alan Branscombe, Joe Harriott (as), Ronnie Scott (ts), Tubby Hayes (ts,fl), Ronnie Ross (bs),Terry Shannon (p) Harry South (p,dir), Phil Bates (b), Jackie Dougan (d).
Sophisticated Lady*/The Goblin*.
(*IAJRC CD -Tubby Hayes, England's Late Jazz Great)

Joe Harriott Quintet - November, 1960 (Free Form - Jazzland JLP49)
Joe Harriott (as), Shake Keane (tp), Pat Smythe (p), Coleridge Goode (b), Phil Seamen (d).
Formation#*/Coda#*/Abstract#*/Impression#+/Parallel#*/Straight Lines#*/Calypso Sketches#*/Tempo#*/Modal^.
(#Gott Discs CD - Joe Harriott Quintet - Freeform)
(*Proper Box 4CD set - The Joe Harriott Story)

(*#^Fresh Sound 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Southern Horizons + Free Form + Abstract)
(*+^Real Gone Jazz 2CD set - Joe Harriott - Three Classic Albums)

Don Carlos y su Orquesta - 1960 (Columbia 33SX 1237)
Band including :Joe Harriott (as), Bert Courtley, Bobby Pratt (tp), Hank Stamps (bass-tb), "Don Carlos" (p), Phil Seamen (d,perc), Kenny Graham (arr). Other musicians are not detailed.
T'Aint What You Do/Frenesi/Oh Pampanino/Cha-Cha-Cha Charlie/Taboo/Crazy Latin/Tangerine/Sunset/In A Little Spanish Town/Chu Chin Cha-Cha-Cha/Adios Maraquita/Linda/Beats In The Belfry.

Discography continues on next page 1961 to 1970...


This page was last updated during March, 2017.
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