The Blues-Soul of BILL HARRIS . Complete Mercury Recordings 1956-1959. Bill Harris, The Harris Touch and Great Guitar Sounds plus Caught in the ActSTEREO DOUBLE CD 24 BIT DIGITALLY REMASTERED 4 LPs on 2 CDs TWO BONUS TRACK When Bill Harris recorded his first album as a leader in 1956, he had already been the electric guitar accompanist for The Clovers one of the most outstanding r&b vocal groups since 1949. Fellow guitarist Mickey Baker recommended him to Mercury/EmArcy s a&r head, Bob Shad, and it is to Shad s credit that he gave Harris so much scope on his debut. The full colored natural sound of Harris s unamplified Spanish guitar is a rare and interesting pleasure. In the words of Nat Hentoff, the blues-soul of Harris courses richly through everything he plays. On his second album for the label, The Harris Touch, Bill was backed by a conventional rhythm section and a bongo player. The session featured the excellent piano work of Hank Jones, with three of the tunes vehicles to showcase of Harris s electric guitar. On the Mercury/Wing album, Harris again performs solo, displaying his remarkable feeling for the unamplified guitar in both jazz and semi-classical contexts. The fourth album on this set is also a solo recital, recorded during a Bill Harris concert in Washington in 1962. Harris plays with engaging easiness in a live program which mainly includes material from the other three albums, demonstrating his abilities as an improviser of lovely, rhythmically resilient variations. Down Beat magazine defined his style as a combination of beauty, lyricism, charm and solid strength. This collection of performances is both a masterpiece of guitar versatility and a master class in improvisation.