Belgium's The Wrong Object is on a roll. An album as strong as The Unbelievable Truth (MoonJune, 2007), documenting a first (and, sadly, only) encounter in 2005 with the late British saxophone legend Elton Dean, would be more than enough for any group in any year. But with Platform One, this intrepid art/rock group teams with another legend--trumpeter Harry Beckett, born in Barbados but a fixture on the British scene since the 1950s--and trombonist Annie Whitehead, who may not be a legend yet, but deserves to be. Recorded live, Platform One isn't necessarily better than The Unbelievable Truth, but it ...read more
Although Europe has produced many an accomplished and innovative jazz musician, a great number of ultra-talented ones remain in obscurity. Vocalion puts the spotlight on one such forgotten genius, British trumpeter Harry Beckett. The double CD combines the latter two of his three sessions for RCA; which were not only his debut recordings as a leader but also remain the most critically acclaimed of all his work. Each CD is, in fact, a straight reissue of each album: 1971's Warm Smiles and 1972's Themes For Fega.
Warm Smiles is more in the modal vein with hints of free playing. It ...read more
As discussed in the last article in this series, the dissemination of jazz on record, together with the abilities of musicians from outside of the USA, ensured that the jazz language was relatively quickly assimilated on a large scale. So far as the British jazz scene was concerned, the Jamaican trumpeter Dizzy Reece, born January 5, 1931, was making an impact by the mid-1950s, and just over a decade later both the Canadian Kenny Wheeler and Reece's fellow West Indian Harry Beckett, born in Barbados, were bringing their own highly personal approaches to the trumpet to the cultural stew of ...read more