» » » Billy Harper - Trying To Make Heaven My Home (1979/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz
Billy Harper - Trying To Make Heaven My Home (1979/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz
Billy Harper - Trying To Make Heaven My Home (1979/2014) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Artist: Billy Harper
Title: Trying To Make Heaven My Home
Genre: Jazz, Post Bop, Modern Creative, Modal Music, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © MPS - Musik Produktion Schwarzwald | Edel Germany GmbH
Release Date: 1979/2014
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 38:25
Recorded: March 3-4, 1979 at Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik, Stuttgart, Germany

One of the best-known players of the post-Coltrane generation, Texas tenor saxophonist Billy Harper earned his spurs with Art Blakey, Randy Weston, Gil Evans, and Max Roach. This 1979 album features Harper’s then-current working group. Fellow Texan Malcolm Pinson and Harper have been playing partners since high school. Bassist Wayne Dockery gained recognition through his work with Art Blakey; trumpeter Everett Hollins’ roots are grounded in rhythm and blues including work with the legendary Otis Redding, and pianist Armen Donelian worked with jazz giants Lionel Hampton and Sonny Rollins. Harper grew up in the Church and credits that black spiritual heritage as a major influence on his music and world view, one similar to Coltrane’s. For Harper, spirituality is non-denominational: it’s about a universal truth. On the album, Harper’s compositions reflect on the spiritual a City Called Heaven and other gospel songs of his youth. The 18 minute Trying To Make Heaven My Home is infused with gospel, blues, and the incandescent spiritual striving that so impregnated Coltrane’s later works. Pinson’s fiery drum intro ignites Inside as the quintet races through the changes at breakneck speed. An incendiary sax and drum duet catapults the band back into the theme. Love On The Sudan is a recognition of Africa’s rhythmic and spiritual impact on Harper’s music as well as Western civilization. German jazz guru Joachim-Ernst Berendt called the album “a major piece of Black American Classical Music.” Deserved praise for a sublime recording.

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 might be, Harper is a jazz improviser of significant stature. Harper grew up in Houston, TX. By the age of five he was singing in church and at various choral events. At age 11 he was given a saxophone for Christmas. In the beginning he was mostly self-taught, though he was helped along by his uncle Earl Harper, a former trumpeter who had gone to school with bop trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Dorham's 1950s work was a formative influence. In his teens Harper played in R&B bands, and at the age of 14 formed his own quartet. In the early '60s, Harper studied jazz at North Texas State University, where he became (at that time) the only African-American member of the school's prestigious One O'Clock Lab Band. Harper graduated from NTSU with a Bachelor of Music degree and also did post-graduate work. In 1966 Harper moved to New York. That year, he led an ensemble that was featured on an NBC-TV special, "The Big Apple." Within short time after arriving in New York, Harper started playing with well-known bandleaders. In 1967 he began a long-lasting association with bandleader/arranger Gil Evans. Harper has played with some of jazz's greatest drummers; he served with Blakey's Messengers for two years (1968-1970); he played very briefly with Elvin Jones (1970), and was a member of Max Roach's band in the late '70s. Harper also became a regular member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. In the '70s, Harper began recording under his own name for European labels. His album Black Saint (1975) was the first recording issued by the label of the same name; his In Europe (1979) inaugurated the Soul Note label. Harper recorded relatively infrequently in the '80s and '90s, although he maintained an active performing career, mostly as a leader. He's enjoyed a parallel career as a music educator, teaching at Livingston College and Rutgers. He's also received multiple grants from various arts agencies, including two from the National Endowment of the Arts. Harper's Black Saint LP was named Jazz Record of the Year -- Voice Grand Prix, by the Modern Jazz League of Tokyo. --Artist Biography by Chris Kelsey

1. Trying to Make Heaven My Home 17:59
2. Inside 08:29
3. Love On the Sudan 11:54

Billy Harper, tenor saxophone
Everett Hollins, trumpet
Armen Donelian, piano
Wayne Dockery, bass
Malcolm Pinson, drums

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