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Destiny Is Yours

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Album Review

On tenor saxophonist Billy Harper's Steeplechase debut, he and his working band of trumpeter Eddie Henderson, pianist Francesca Tanksley, bassist Clarence Seay, and drummer Newman Taylor Baker perform six originals, five written by Harper, and the oft-played standard "My Funny Valentine," played here a little faster than usual. A veteran of groups led by jazz greats Art Blakey, Max Roach, Randy Weston, Gil Evans, and Lee Morgan, the vastly under-recognized Harper is a master tenor saxophonist who has developed a unique sound on his chosen instrument, sometimes very passionate, sometimes very lyrical. His compositions, characterized by shifting tempos and themes played over insistent vamps, always have a spiritual, uplifting quality to them. Highlights include the title track, a medium-tempo waltz, Tanksley's "Dance in the Question," which alternates between an up-tempo 4/4 and a slower 3/4 section, and Harper's "Groove From Heaven," a medium-tempo swinger which alternates between a descending Harper riff and a six-note bass vamp. This is a perfect introduction to the artist's music.

Biography

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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Destiny Is Yours, Billy Harper
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 01 January 1990

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