Billy Harper

Billy Harper ( born January 17, 1943 in Houston, Texas) is an American jazz saxophonist, bandleader and music educator.

Life and work

Harper's childhood was marked by life in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its music. At the age of fourteen he started his first jazz quintet as a student of Evan E. Worthing High School. He studied 1961-65 Jazz at North Texas State University and went to the final in 1966 to New York City. There he soon attracted the attention of jazz greats such as Max Roach, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and Lee Morgan. Gil Evans hired him in 1967 for his big band in which he was involved, inter alia, to Evans ' album Svengali; Art Blakey won it as a member of the Jazz Messengers led by him.

With these bands and his own quintet with tenor saxophone, trumpet and rhythm section, with whom he played music in the tradition of John Coltrane, he traveled through the United States, Europe, Japan and Africa. The major international breakthrough came in 1976, the album Black Saint, it was by the Modern Jazz League of Tokyo as Jazz Record of the Year - awarded Voice Grand Prix.

Harper still occurs internationally: at the Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw met him the young Polish trumpeter Piotr Wojtasik know, who later became a member of his band. In 2000 he gave a concert in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. In addition, Harper taught at several high schools and teaches improvisation at Livingston College and Rutgers University. Since 2007 he has been working with the all-star band The Cookers.

Disco printing specifications

  • Capra Black ( Strata - East Records, 1973) with Julian Priester, Billy Cobham
  • Black Saint ( Black Saint, 1975), with Virgil Jones, Joe Bonner, David Friesen, Malcolm Pinson
  • In Europe ( Soul Note, 1979) with Everett Hollins, Fred Hersch, Louis Spears, Horace Arnold
  • Soran Bushi, B. H. ( Denon, 1977) with Greg Maker, Billy Hart, Horacee Arnold, Harold Mabern, Everett Hollins
  • Trying to Make Heaven My Home (MPS, 1979)
  • Knowledge Of Self ( Denon, 1979)
  • The Believer ( Baystate, 1980) with poor Donelian, Everett Hollins
  • Destiny Is Yours ( Steeplechase Records, 1989) with Eddie Henderson, Francesca Tanksley, Clarence Seay, Newman Taylor Baker
  • Live on Tour in the Far East, Vols. 1-3 ( Steeplechase, 1991) with Eddie Henderson, Francesca Tanksley, Louis Spears, Newman Taylor Baker
  • Jon & Billy ( Storyville, 1992) with Jon Faddis, George Mraz, Motohiko Hino, Cecil Bridgewater, Roland Hanna
  • Somalia ( Evidence 1993) with Eddie Henderson, Francesca Tanksley, Louie Spears, Newman Taylor Baker, Horace Arnold
  • If Out Hearts Could Only See ( DIW Records, 1998) with Francesca Tanskley, Clarence Seay, Newman Taylor Baker, Eddie Henderson
  • Soul of an Angel (Metropolitan Records, 2000) with Eddie Henderson, Francesca Tanksley, Clarence Seay, Newman Taylor Baker
  • The Roots of the Blues (Universal Music France, 2013) with Randy Weston

Lexical entries

  • Carlo Bohländer (ed.): Reclams jazz leader. Reclam, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-15-010464-5.
  • Ian Carr, Brian Priestley, Digby Fairweather (eds.): Rough Guide to Jazz. ISBN 1-85828-137-7.
  • Richard Cook, Brian Morton: The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 6th edition. Penguin, London 2003, ISBN 0-14-051521-6.
  • Martin Kunzler: jazz lexicon. Volume 1: A-L. Reinbek 2002, ISBN 3-499-16512-0.