The Memphis ensemble known as the Midtown Jazz
Mobile flourished in the early 1980s and left two glorious
albums for posterity to enjoy and appreciate.
Their first album, Fugitive, was recorded in 1982, at Cotton Row Recording in Memphis. The Midtown Jazz Mobile consisted of
George Caldwell (piano), Ron McBee (Congas, Percussion), Doug
Garrison (Drums), Jim Spake (Soprano, Tenor Saxes), Sylvester
Sample (Bass), and Gerard Harris (Guitar).
The second album, Bakatak, was recorded in 1984, also at Cotton
Row in Memphis. The personnel had changed only slightly: Ron
McBee did not appear on this session, but Doug Garrison added
Percussion to his role; Jim Spake’s saxophones were augmented by
Nokie Taylor (Trumpet) and Shof Beavers (Waterphone); and Gerard
Harris played keyboards in addition to Guitar.
All songs on Fugitive were written by Gerard Harris except for F
Region (Jim Spake) and Handicap (D. Cousar). Harris, likewise,
penned all but two of the songs on the second album, Bakatak
(Life without It – Ben Flint, and Hangs by Wires – Jim Spake).
Together, Fugitive and Bakatak are pristine time capsules of the
art of Jazz at its in pinnacle in the years between 1982 and