Harold Corbin - Soul Brother (1961)

Genre: Jazz | Total Time: 31:44 | Size: 72.39 MB | MP3 320 kbps
Side 1
1. Soul Sister
2. Don't Blame Me
3. Rene
4. The Gypsy
5. Caroline

Side 2
1. JAMF's
2. I've Never Been In Love Before
3. The Girl In The Window
4. Soul Brother
5. Tunga

Recorded in New York City, June 1961

Harold Corbin, piano
Spanky DeBrest, bass
Eddie Campbell, drums
Pianist Edwin Harold Corbin (1933-1962) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he began classical piano study when he was seven. At 20 he switched from classical to popular music and formed his own trio, working daytime as a city inspector and supplementing his income by playing as house pianist in several Philadelphia jazz spots until 1961. That year, he composed and recorded Soul Sister, which became a local hit single on the 20th Century label and led to a contract with the Roulette Recording Company and top booking engagements.

In his debut album for Roulette, he revealed an eclectic style influenced by some of the greatest on the instrument, such as Garner and Jamal. He had the ability to write pieces redolent of his era, at times allied to a certain flair for fashionable funkmanship. His touch is percussive, spicing his lines with emphatic chord voicings, but he soloes with honest, unflashy guts. The effortlessly swinging support by Spanky DeBrest and Eddie Campbell is sensitive and restrained throughout, lending this set the easy, unforced quality. This was a persuasively driving and unaffected trio. Unfortunately, Corbins career ended in tragedy when he died of an overdose on April 1st, 1962, less than five months after the release of this album.

This release contains the complete recorded work of Philadelphia born pianist Harold Corbin who died of a narcotic overdose just a few short months after completing the Roulette album “Soul Brother” at the tender age of 28.
The two bonus tracks are taken from a singles release on the 20th Century label which became something of hit in the Philadelphia area after which he was offered a contract with the Roulette label.

Harold Corbin is a percussive pianist with a number of influences not least Errol Garner but he had talent and would probably have developed his own style if he had an early demise.

Seven of the compositions on the album are originals by Harold Corbin and he also shows some promise in this area. “Rene” is a particularly nice tune and his debt to Errol Garner is apparent in both his playing and his writing. Another track which is very similar in style and composition is “The Girl in the Window”.

The title track “Soul Sister” and it’s companion piece “Soul Brother” are very much compositions of the Sixties with that down home funky feel but were very popular during this period.

The Bassist and drummer are very supportive of the pianist’s style and complement of playing, Spanky DeBrest on bass had a spell with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his class comes through
If you are a lover of this type of piano playing give this release a try you won’t be disappointed as it has enough variety on it you interested.

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