Eddie Harris – Sculpture, aka For Bird and Bags (Full Album – Vinyl)

Full vinyl digitization of Eddie Harris's album 'Sculpture' also known as "For Bird and Bags".

We found this original 1969 copy of Eddie Harris’s Sculpture in Phoenix. Sculpture was actually recorded much earlier than 69, it was originally recorded in 1963 and released in 1964 as For Bird and Bags, an obvious homage to a couple of Harris’s most revered forbearers: Charlie Parker and Milton Jackson. The recordings were made for Vee-Jay Records but released under Exodus due to financial problems. Buddah later released the album under the name Sculpture in ’69.

The first song on Side A, Salute to Bird, we get to see a hotter bebop side of Harris who usually opted for more subdued and lyrical phrasing in previous albums. As the song title indicates, we get the crisp and flawlessly executed bebop noodley duets and unbridled solos characteristic of Charlie Parker. Tempo and genres are flip-flopped as well.

On Salute to Bags (First song of Side B), Eddie Harris switches to piano, perhaps it’s at least partially to allow Charles Stepney to switch from piano to vibes, since afterall, Bags (Milton Jackson) was a vibraphone player.

Sculpture/For Bird and Bags represents Harris’s final work from the before-times of cool jazz and bop. Buddah’s decision to re-release the recordings under a new name in 1969 is interesting considering Harris was already making a name for himself in the new wave of soul, funk and electrified sounds that Eddie Harris is probably better-known for today.

For this reason, Sculpture/For Bird and Bags tends to get overlooked in Harris’s long and prolific discography. This is unfortunate, since as you can hear below, Harris delivers the goods, even if not in a paradigm-shifting fashion which we know him for starting in the late 60s.

The soulful low-register harmonics that are clear and mature in Harris’s soul/funk sax recordings in later decades can be heard in these recordings to a certain degree. Reviews were all-around positive upon its release.

Eddie Harris – Sculpture LP

Listen to a full digitization of the album below.