13 November 2006
BILLY HARPER - CAPRA BLACK
More spiritual jazz from Billy Harper on Strata East from 1973.This great group of players are joined by a quintet of voices including Eugene McDaniels on a couple of tracks who sing behind the jazz players in an uplifting spiritual mode that cries out with the new soul jazz freedom of the 70s.
More info on this here from KFJC:
Texas-born saxophonist Billy Harper had played with many of the greats (Gil Evans, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones) before recording this first album as a leader in 1973. Influenced heavily by Coltrane, Harper was part of the “black consciousness” movement in jazz, which fueled such artist-owned labels as Strata-East in New York, Tribe Records in Detroit, and Black Jazz in Chicago. This session for Strata-East features an all-star cast, including George Cables (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Julian Priester (trombone), Billy Cobham (drums), and more, including a special appearance by drummer Elvin Jones on the track “Sir Galahad.” One of the quintessential traits of this strain of jazz, the vocal chorus, is featured prominently on the two tracks from Side Black, linking the music to its roots in gospel. The equally-important blues influence shines through clearly, as well; just check out the track “New Breed” for evidence of that. All in all, an impressive debut from Mr. Harper. Interesting bit of trivia: Harper’s next album release was BLACK SAINT, inaugurating the label of the same name, which is still active today.