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INTERVIEWS

Billy Harper: A Life of Persistence and Improvisation

Read "Billy Harper: A Life of Persistence and Improvisation" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

On stage, Billy Harper puts his lips to the tenor saxophone, stands relatively erect and sings through his horn; a strong, angular, muscular sound. There little physical gesticulation, belying the effort it takes to express feelings and emotions through the instrument. But Harper's creative statements demand attention. Over the last few years, a lot of that energy is expressed on stage with the Cookers, a star-studded septet that has been burning up the scene, gaining fans and critical ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Cookers: Cast the First Stone

Read "Cast the First Stone" reviewed by Troy Collins

Cast the First Stone is the sophomore follow-up to Warriors (Jazz Legacy Productions, 2010), the debut recording of the all-star ensemble The Cookers, whose name was inspired by the 1965 Blue Note live album series Night of the Cookers. Lending credence to its namesake, this powerhouse septet swings mightily through a series of post-bop originals and a sole cover, bolstered by the presence of special guest, acclaimed saxophonist Azar Lawrence, whose recent resurgence has found the renowned firebrand in riveting ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Billy Harper: Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 2

Read "Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. 2" reviewed by George Kanzler

Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper has been keeping the jazz fires kindled by the ritualistic, incantatory side of the classic John Coltrane Quartet stoked and burning bright for over a quarter-century. Here Harper's working quintet, augmented by a second bassist, presents a program redolent of the processional and the chant. Over it all, Harper's coruscating, brawny tenor strides like a colossus (only Sonny Rollins may have a richer, fuller tone) with a charged intensity matching the roiling, loping, massed rhythms of ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Mike Clark, Billy Harper, Donald Bailey: Blueprints of Jazz

Read "Mike Clark, Billy Harper, Donald Bailey: Blueprints of Jazz" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Three discs, three creative artists, one concept--Blueprints of Jazz presents some of jazz music's eminently worthy but less widely known innovators. Tenor saxophonist Billy Harper and drummers Mike Clark and Donald Bailey have been fixtures on the jazz scene from 1950s through the 1970s, and they still produce fresh sounds.

Mike Clark Blueprints of Jazz, Volume 1 Talking House Records 2008

Mike Clark is probably best known for his work ...

INTERVIEWS

Billy Harper

Read "Billy Harper" reviewed by Russ Musto

Billy Harper has one of the most impressive resumes in jazz, including stints with Gil Evans, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Lee Morgan, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis, Charles Tolliver and Randy Weston, but it is his unique sound on the tenor and distinctive style as a composer that has brought him international acclaim and truly sets him apart from most other players.

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