You may not know the name, but keyboardist-composer-arranger Harry Whitaker is a quiet but powerful force in the music industry. Though he's worked with everyone from the Spinners to Claudia Acuna, he's best known for his stint with Roy Ayers's soul-fusion Ubiquity group back in the day, and he was Roberta Flack's musical director when her big hit "Feel Like Makin' Love" lit up the charts. But to collectors and DJs around the world, his long-out-of-print 1976 album Black Renaissance has always been the Holy Grail. Now released on CD for the first time, we can finally hear why. Recorded on Martin Luther King's birthday in the aftermath of the turbulent '60s, the recording features two long tracks that artfully combine jazz, funk, and R&B into an early musical version of Afrocentricity. With no overdubs and Woody Shaw's great clarion trumpet tones, Whitaker laid down grooves that rock to this day. Put another way, Harry Whitaker's Black Renaissance is a soulful soundtrack, starring a gifted but overlooked musical genius. --Eugene Holley Jr.