on September 14, 2009
His playing has that searching soulful quality that Trane had. His spirituality is deep and his grounding in the Church obvious. Early versions of Priestess and the Awakening capped off by Love on the Sudan, a probing, urgent composition that ranks among his best. The man is a treasure. He may be unsung in some quarters but not unappreciated by many. His live Steeplechase recordings , the Black Saint date, The Believer and the quartet with Francesca Tanksley..all superb and well worth your time.
on December 22, 2013
I've listened extensively to jazz for many years but was late in coming to to Billy Harper. Better late than never. He's a straight-up terrific sax player. I agree with the other reviewer's observation that he carries forward the spirit of John Coltrane. There is an aggressive edge to his approach, but there is always a lyrical component, as was true with Trane. But he's no clone. Billy Harper's individual style and voice comes through loud and clear.
The album is far more than a one-show. This is a tightly knit quintet, with Everett Hollins and Mickey Tucker making strong solo contributions on trumpet and piano respectively. Each of the tunes is excellent, but the stand-out, to my ears, is the title cut, a 17-minute excursion that takes the listener on a musical journey through many soundscapes.
Love this album and have bought a number of other Harper releases since discovering it. Happy to say the quality of his work is strong on all of them.
Highest recommendation for "Love on the Sudan."