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Born in Houston, Billy Harper moved to Manhattan in the ‘60s and studied with some of the best bandleaders of the era, including Gil Evans, Max Roach, and Art Blakey. The rich, resilient tone he achieves on tenor sax owes a lot to John Coltrane, but Harper's playing remains ever lyrical, even when the setting gets turbulent. While pursuing a secondary calling as a professor and music educator, he has never stepped away from the sax. On this career-spanning survey, Harper's later recordings burn with the creative force of his first solo outings from the ‘70s.


PICTURE: ©Dmitry Scherbie - Billy Harper

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