This two-fer pairs two pivotal and seemingly conflicting recordings in the career of Gene Harris as he entered the 1970s, a period that was to see his trademark rootsy sound embrace the emergent jazz-funk.
Gene Harris never veered closer to mainstream jazz-funk than Tone Tantrum – a slick, propulsive record recalling Donald Byrd's classic sessions with the Mizell brothers (not surprising, given that Byrd turns up on a few tracks here). It's very much a product of its time, channeling influences from underground disco to Stevie Wonder, and remains arguably the most blatantly commercial release in the entire Blue Note catalog.
The Gene Harris Quartet was quite consistent in its many Concord recordings of the 1990s. The group on this disc (pianist Harris, guitarist Ron Eschete, bassist Luther Hughes, and drummer Paul Humphrey) performs soulful and bluesy versions of such songs as "I Remember You", "The Brotherhood of Man", Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder", and even "September Song". All of Harris' records from this era are easily recommended to fans of soul-jazz, soulful hard bop, and blues-oriented jazz.