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Album Review

The passionate tenor saxophonist Billy Harper had not been heard on record as a leader in quite a few years when this superlative Evidence CD was released in 1995. Harper (who is joined by trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist Francesca Tanksley, bassist Louie Spears, and both Newman Taylor Baker and Horace Arnold on drums) brings back the spirit of John Coltrane, performing a very spiritual and generally intense set of music. The five originals are highlighted by the title cut, "Quest" and the nearly 22-minute "Thy Will Be Done." This CD contains some of Billy Harper's finest playing in years.


Born: 17 January 1943 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

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

Billy Harper is one of a generation of Coltrane-influenced tenor saxophonists who actually built upon the master's work, rather than simply copy it. Harper is consummately well-rounded, able to play convincingly in any context, from bop to free. His muscular tone, lithe articulation, comprehensive harmonic knowledge, and unflagging energy define him as a saxophonist. He's also possessed of an abundant imagination that connects directly to his blues and gospel roots. Though not as well-known as he...
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Somalia, Billy Harper
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