Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
Deserving of a wider audience
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 01/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pittsburgh native Harris produced a wonderful offering with this 1979 release. He established himself as a solid "New Thing" contributor in the '60s, recording with Archie Shepp and others. However, like many so-called avante garde jazz musicians, he was underrecorded and many of his releases are no longer available."Beautiful Africa" transcends labels. Harris' "360 Degree Music Experience" unites the drummer with top-notch -- and all too rarely heard -- musicians such as trombonist Grachan Moncur, multi-reedist Ken McIntye (a protege of Dolphy), and pianist Rahn Burton (who also played, I believe, with Rahsaan Roland Kirk). Cameron Brown contributes marvellously on bass.This is a cooperative endeavor, and all the members except McIntyre contributed compositions. The soloing is first rate, but the writing is just as strong: complex, tuneful and never cliched.Harris died in 1991. Rest in peace. Like other great departed drummers like Eddie Blackwell, he left a meaningful mark on the music, and we all need to seek out his work wherever we can find it."
Why don't people make music like this anymore?
greg taylor | Portland, Oregon United States | 12/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to just add a few notes to Tyler Smith's excellent review. I did want to take exception to his referring to Mukanda Ken McIntyre as a Dolphy protege. They did play together on an early great McIntrye album but their styles are very different. During his life, McIntyre recorded with Cecil Taylor and Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra. He was the leader on many CDs including a notable string on the Steeplechase label in the mid-Seventies (Home and Hindsight, both available on Amazon are especially recommended). He is, is anything, an even more diverse talent than Dolphy. Along with Karen Borca, he is probably the greatest jazz bassonist. To hear the sound of his basson in conjunction with Grachan's muscular trombone on African Drums is one of the joys of this album. McIntyre also plays alto sax and flute on this CD.
Grachan Moncur III is one of the unsung heros of jazz music of the latter half of the twentieth century. A great composer and an invaluable sideman, he possessed a great trombone solo style. He has none of the technical genius of a George Lewis or a Ray Anderson but all of his solos are beautiful compositions unto themselves. He just unfolds wave after wave of melody.
As Mr. Smith notes, Beaver Harris was one of the greatest of the drummers of the period. Well grounded in swing he also possessed the ability to play outside of time with the best of them (one of his early albums is called From Ragtime to No Time). He played with people of the caliber of Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins and Dave Burrell. He is also an excellent composer (the aforementioned African Drums as well as Drums for Milano on this CD).
If you like post-bop, e.g., McCoy Tyner's Extensions CD or Jackie McLean's mid-sixties Blue Note titles, you will love this CD. If you know none of the above players, it will introduce you to three of the great musicians of the period."