Jody Harris

  • Jody Harris
  • It Happened One Night (Press) 1982 
  • Jody Harris and Robert Quine
  • Escape (Lust/Unlust) 1981 

Jody Harris has worked with such New York luminaries as the Raybeats and James White and the Blacks, but remains one of the most underrated guitarists on the scene. His schizophrenic solo album proves him to be an accomplished composer as well, turning his talents towards straight pop (“It Happened One Night”), rockabilly (“I’m After Hours Again”), blues (“You Better Read This Before You Sign”) and various forms of jazz, from be-bop to Stephane Grappelli. Harris amply proves that old forms can be given new life, especially with his exquisite, modernistic guitar work.

Along with Robert Quine (Richard Hell’s Voidoids, later of Lou Reed’s band) Harris made the beautiful Escape, which drifts through a plethora of styles — Frippist drone tunes, jazz, country swing — and proves that these two consistently surprising guitarists are even more surprising than suspected. Though hardly rock, Escape has a vitality and joy missing in most music today, and so much fun it’s sexy.

[Steven Grant]

See also: James Chance, Richard Hell, Raybeats