Mon Feb. 17, 2025

Billy Harper Quintet (USA)

Billy Harper: tenor, soprano saxophone
Freddie Hendrix: trumpet
Francesca Tanksley
Dezron Douglas: bass
Aaron Scott: drums

We start the live stream approx. 1/2 hour before the concert begins (real time, no longer available after the end of the concert). By clicking on "Go to livestream" a window will open where you can watch the concert free of charge and without any registration. However, we kindly ask you to support this project via "Pay as you wish". Thank you & welcome to the real & virtual club!

In his early recordings and performances with leaders such as Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Randy Weston and Gil Evans, during the 60s and 70s, Billy Harper already had a massive sound on the tenor saxophone, combining John Coltrane’s spiraling intensity with a bluesy brawn that pointed back to his Texas origins.

Harper’s authority has only grown with age: a half-century on, he stands as one of the most commanding horn men on the planet, a pillar of stirring post-bop jazz whose robust back catalog seems long overdue for rediscovery.

For half a century he has been performing his original music with the renowned Billy Harper Quintet all over the globe, and recording over a dozen albums as a leader and prolific composer.

After a pandemic induced hiatus, the Quintet sprung back into action, starting 2023 off with a series of #CapraBlackIsBack performances, marking a year long celebration of Billy Harper's 80th birthday, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the group's official inception and their historic debut album Capra Black, the impact of which still lingers among jazz listeners worldwide.

Francesca Tanksley has been the pianist in this group for more than 40 years – a clear attestation of the wide ranging concensus that her extraordinary musicality cannot be matched nor replaced when it comes to Billy Harper’s opus.

Renowned master drummer Aaron Scott, a longtime member of McCoy Tyner’s band, has also been in the group for decades and is a rare find among jazz drummers who can meet and surpass the challenge of doing Harper’s music justice.

Freddie Hendrix, one of the most in-demand jazz trumpeters of today, coveted for his uniquely soulful and exciting improvisations is also a longstanding member.

Finally, a newer but nevertheless perfectly matched addition to the group is the award-winning bassist Dezron Douglas whose artistry on the strings brings Harper’s compositions to a whole new level.