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Album Review

Pianist-composer Horace Tapscott has long been Los Angeles' great local legend. He has had his own sound and style since the mid-1960's but, due to his relatively few recordings (mostly for Nimbus) and his desire to live in L.A. rather than New York, he has long been underrated if not completely overlooked. Falling between post bop and the avant-garde, Tapscott plays locally with a blazing (if thus far undocumented) quartet that includes saxophonist Michael Sessions. Recently he recorded Aiee! The Phantom with an all-star quintet including trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, altoist Abraham Burton, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille. Tapscott performs four of his modal-based originals and a pair of obscurities quite freely but with attention paid to the moods of the compositions. Highlights include "Drunk Mary/Mary On Sunday," "To The Great House" and the adventurous "Mothership." Perhaps this recording (available from Arabesque) will alert the rest of the jazz world as to the strong talents of the great veteran Horace Tapscott.

Biography

Born: 06 April 1934 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

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

While Los Angeles is the power center of the popular music industry, it's always been a backwater as far as jazz is concerned. That's not because L.A. hasn't produced more than it's share of great players: a roll call of major players who made L.A. their home at some point would include Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, Ornette Coleman, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Charles Mingus, among many others. L.A.'s second-class status in the jazz world probably has more to do with the fact that it's about as...
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Aiee! the Phantom, Horace Tapscott
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