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Re-Creation of the Gods

Rufus Harley

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Album Review

This is bagpiper Rufus Harley's finest moment. All the songs on this disc were written by the man himself. All are loosely related in an Eastern spiritual vein, and the man plays them like he means it, like his own offering to God. Contemporaries like Pharoah Sanders or Archie Shepp had introduced a lot of Middle Eastern instruments to jazz listeners. Heard in that context, the hissing overtones of the bagpipes really aren't all that jarring. This record would have fit nicely among the offerings from such labels as Strata East or BYG. Harley hits a real Coltrane-ish vibe here. Unlike most of his other records, you don't find yourself wishing it would stop or at least get quieter. Harley had learned to modulate his tone by this point. Instead of a simple frontal audio assault, there's real dynamism here. Instead of a record that's valued mostly for its freak show vibe, this is a real jazz record, with real worth.

Biography

Born: 20 May 1936 in Raleigh, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Rufus Harley was jazz's first bagpiper, singlehandedly transforming a droning, unwieldy instrument associated almost exclusively with Celtic traditions into a soulful and deeply spiritual element of the modern jazz lexicon. Born May 20, 1936, in Raleigh, NC, Harley spent the majority of his childhood in Philadelphia, where he studied saxophone and flute and at 18 made his professional debut behind bandleader Mickey Collins. Like much of his generation, his life was irrevocably altered by the November...
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Re-Creation of the Gods, Rufus Harley
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