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Billy Harper

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I don't yet have this album, and have just begun looking for it, but so far online searches have come up empty. (Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.) A few questions:

• Was this ever on compact disc?

• If so, is it out-of-print?

• What do you think of this album?

I've been having a lovefest with Andrew Hill's Lift Every Voice lately, and so have been searching out more horns with voices albums. And on that note — if any of you have any recommendations along these lines (horns + voices), please chime in!

Thanks!

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OK, the answer to the first question is: yes! This album is (or was) out on compact disc. Not sure if it's OOP, however, though it looks like it is.

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Keep Checking Dusty Groove (the bastards!). They keep a steady flow going of the various Strata-East reissues, so if it'll turn up anywhere, it will be there.

What do I think of this album? I think it's beautiful, in the deepest, non-gratuitous meaning of the word. Very spiritual. I know that's a word that means different things to different people, and nothiing to some, but if we stipulate that it's a totally subjective term, then I'll openly say that the music on this album goes straight to the core for me in terms of "spiritual" attributes like strength, resolve, humility, compassion, love, and all those other things that aren't fashionable these days. Billy made a statement deep from his heart on this album, and if you "get" where he's coming from, I think that you can't help but be deeply moved by it.

Simply put, a major album from a major artist. Get it by any means necessary.

Edited by JSngry

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Not an "easy" listen by any means, but Billy's on this one. Pretty powerful stuff.

d54756r175m.jpg

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Seems to be a LP for $13.50 (Canadian) HERE. That's a real good price if it's in good shape.

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$15 (American) sealed "new reissue" LP copy HERE.

I can't vouch for any of these sellers (other than Dusty Groove), btw. But it seems to be out there for you if you do vinyl.

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$20 CD (w/a portion going to a good cause) HERE.

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The two Eddie Gales, soon to be released on Water, are well worth a study. And the Harper is worth a search, a very good session. I need more Harper, this is the only one of his as a leader that I have.

And yeah, I agree with Jim, I was going to add before his posts "surely you have the Max?"

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More Max w/voices, and perhaps more "accessable" than the Atlantic:

d48306ntp49.jpg

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I really like CAPRA BLACK, found the CD used about a year ago in Berkeley. You won't be disappointed.

Not "horns plus voice" but more great Billy: Lee Morgan's last album for BN (titled simply LEE MORGAN). There's a wonderful version of "Capra Black" on there, btw, sans vocals (I dig the singers but the tune stands up just fine without them too, thank you). Anyone into Lee, Harper, or just great music should check that one out post haste...Morgan went out in top form, and who knows what heights he might have reached next?

Edited by DrJ

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Byrd: I'm Trying To Get Home is good too.

Not as good as A New Perspective, but still worthwhile.

Recently reissued in Japan.

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Byrd: I'm Trying To Get Home is good too.

Not as good as A New Perspective, but still worthwhile.

Recently reissued in Japan.

I'll never forget going to hear Max Roach's band in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase back in the late 70's..

The most powerful entity onstage that night was Billy Harper! He blew me away!! :excited:

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There's only voices on one side of the CAPRA-BLACK LP. Side One (entitled "Capra") is purely instrumental and contains the title tune, "Sir Galahad" (ELVIN ALERT!), & "New Breed". Side Two ("Black") has the voices, and it is beautiful. Two tunes - "Soulfully, I Love You/Black Spiritual Of Love", and "Cry Of Hunger!". If you only know the latter form its appearance on Gil Evans' SVENGALI album, know that this version is a lot, a WHOLE lot, closer to what I sense as the "intent" of the piece (and I dig Gil's version muchly). I'll reprint Billy's notes about this composition, because I think it'll give you a good idea of what to expect, and a good take on Billy's overall esthetic.

2. Cry Of Hunger! Contrary to that condiditon that most men describe as obligation, or desire, or exigency, when in fact, it is really greed, I am speaking of a hunger justified by true and honest need.

This is a composition that expresses with its projection as well as with its form, the sound of hunger - be it the hunger of love, lust, security, revolution, excitement. peace, unity. It states the hunger that most men have, and to be more explicit, the hunger that lives within "the struggle". The Cry begins in turmoil until it builds to an abrupt release, then the struggle starts again. This cycle is repeated with release and the finishing strife, then comes a section of peace and faith..."There'll be e-nough some-day." After the calm, comes the strife and struggle again, because man will make it so. And still again, as the composition dictates...perhaps: "There'll be e-nough some-day."

You probably got to hear it to get all that, but it's a pretty strong piece of music, and the voices are superbly effective in conveying the message. It moves me deeply every time I hear it.

Edited by JSngry

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Damn, I'm salivating!

Anyone know of an online vendor that carries this title on compact disc?

p.s.

I have Ghetto Music on its way, and have already netted one of the Max's (the Impulse! title). I've never picked up A New Perspective, and now seems the perfect time. It seems like it's taken me forever to fully appreciate an album with voices, but now I'm hearing it! I'll have to look for that Morgan album with Harper, too. Thanks all.

p.p.s.

Has anyone else been struck by how, on Andrew Hill's Lift Every Voice, Carlos Garnett sounds amazingly close to Wayne Shorter at times (timbre, not articulation), and Bennie Maupin sounds amazingly close to Joe Henderson at times (timbre and articulation)? Strangeness.

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Damn, I'm salivating!

Anyone know of an online vendor that carries this title on compact disc?

$20 CD (w/a portion going to a good cause) HERE.

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Dig.

Skipped over your posting of this the first time around.

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I suspect the link posted for the Harper "Capra Black" is selling CDR's copied from the only known CD reissue - the Japanese CD of several yars ago on the Bomba label. I have a copy, it's not the greatest remastering job ever done, but it's serviceable, and who gives a hoot when the music is so very great.

I pray every day for new Billy Harper music. Hopefully soon.

I wouldn't put Capra Black at the top of the Billy Harper Greatest Hits list, though. Somalia is just killer. If Our Hearts Could Only See is right up there too, so is Soul Of An Angel.

The earlier Steeplechase titles, particularly Destiny Is Yours, are excellent - the 3 volume Live In The Far East suffers from variable sound - and are CRYING out for remastering - but the performances are overwhelming.

As a Billy Harper side note, it's sad that so many of his very best recordings remain unissued on CD, with no hope of resurrection - the Baystate titles like The Believer, Love On The Sudan, etc. - the MPS Trying To Make Heaven My Home...the recordings with Max Roach - Live In Tokyo, Live In Amsterdam - prayer might help, but I think it would take a miracle.

Let's hope for some new BH soon.

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It would be great to see Max's "The Loadstar" released on CD, but I'm not holding my breath.

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I just found a copy online. I hope it's as good as everyone claims it to be. Probably will be. Thanks for the heads up on this.

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couw - you found a CD version of "The Loadstar"???

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I suspect the link posted for the Harper "Capra Black" is selling CDR's copied from the only known CD reissue - the Japanese CD of several yars ago on the Bomba label.

Could be, but it's listed as an "import" and is being donated by Harper through Lois Gilbert's site, with a portion of the proceeds going to a fund to aid jazz musicians in need, so I'd think it's possibly a "real" copy.

But you never know...

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The earlier Steeplechase titles, particularly Destiny Is Yours, are excellent - the 3 volume Live In The Far East suffers from variable sound - and are CRYING out for remastering - but the performances are overwhelming.

I've got "Destiny is Yours" available for sale or trade if anyone is interested.

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couw - you found a CD version of "The Loadstar"???

ermmm... no, of capra black

sorry, I was reading too fast through the posts

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In the ongoing search for Capra Black, and actually not having any Harper, I picked up Black Saint yesterday. I put it on, and my face looked like this: :o

You think you've been listening to this music for a while, and you're surpised all over again: there are always artists out there that you've simply passed by for one reason or another. This is one passionate session. And chops? Billy Harper knows the tenor saxophone. Good gracious. "Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart" has one of the most ecstatic tenor saxophone solos I've heard in a long time.

If you're like me, and didn't have this one until yesterday ( -_- ), do something nice for yourself and splurge on this one. Man oh man.

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I used to have "Black Saint" and gave it to a friend. Boy, was that dumb! I've never found it again since. <_<

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