Harper, Billy

Talking House, 2008CD
Instrument: Saxophone

Issue: 14.4

Jazz Ruler Type: Bebop
O's Jazz Ruler

Performance: 5
Performance Chart

Sound: 4
Sound Chart

Score Chart

O’s Notes: Saxophonist Billy Harper at 65 has a deep and profound history of jazz and African American life. He expresses those memories in song. It comes through in every note. The band is Francesca Tanksley (p), Aaron Scott (d, perc), Kenyon Harold (t), Clarence Seay (b) and Louie Spears (b). They intertwine rhythms and melodies to project emotion. This is notable on “Thoughts and Slow Actions” and “Time and Time Again”. We also liked “Knowledge of Self” and “Africa Revisited”, a deep historical perspective with the words by Amiri Baraka, emotion by Harper. It’s one of three poetic tracks that add spice to the five instrumentals. A special treat is Billy singing the title track, and yes he sings with the same passion that he plays the sax! This is one of the best in the ‘Blueprints of Jazz’ series.


Publicist: Bloom Media Relations