HARRY BECKETT

Fusion / Post Bop / Hard Bop / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Dub/Ska/Reggae • Barbados
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The Genesis: Harold Winston Beckett, St Michael Parish, Barbados. Resident in the UK since 1954.

HARRY BECKETT has been a major figure on the British jazz scene for over two decades now. He is one of the most popular and highly regarded trumpet and flugel horn players in the country.

The Early Years On the UK Scene

Harry's early career was spent gigging and working in London nightclubs: his first major accolade came in 1961 when Charles Mingus came to Britain to make the film All Night Long, and chose Harry to play in his band. Since then he has worked as a studio musician as well as touring with a multitude of bands.

In 1972 Beckett won the Melody Maker jazz Poll as Top Trumpeter in Britain. Harry's inventive and very personal playing has featured strongly in some of the best and most successful bands of recent years. He's played with Graham Collier's
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JAZZ JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL VOL 60 #2 2007 FEBRUARY HARRY BECKETT MICK MULLIGAN JAZZ JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL VOL 60 #2 2007 FEBRUARY HARRY BECKETT MICK MULLIGAN USD $6.05 Buy It Now 18 days
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HARRY BECKETT Discography

HARRY BECKETT albums / top albums

HARRY BECKETT Flare Up album cover 4.08 | 3 ratings
Flare Up
Fusion 1970
HARRY BECKETT Warm Smiles album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Warm Smiles
Fusion 1971
HARRY BECKETT Joy Unlimited album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Joy Unlimited
Fusion 1975
HARRY BECKETT Got It Made - (as Harry Beckett's Joy Unlimited) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Got It Made - (as Harry Beckett's Joy Unlimited)
Fusion 1977
HARRY BECKETT Pictures Of You album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Pictures Of You
Post Bop 1985
HARRY BECKETT Harry Beckett / Johnny Dyani / Chris McGregor / Marilyn Mazur ‎: Grandmothers Teaching album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Harry Beckett / Johnny Dyani / Chris McGregor / Marilyn Mazur ‎: Grandmothers Teaching
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1988
HARRY BECKETT Passion and Possession album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Passion and Possession
Post Bop 1991
HARRY BECKETT All Four One album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
All Four One
Hard Bop 1992
HARRY BECKETT Beckett , Levallet , Marsh : Images Of Clarity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beckett , Levallet , Marsh : Images Of Clarity
Post Bop 1993
HARRY BECKETT Les jardins du casino (aka Maxine) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Les jardins du casino (aka Maxine)
Post Bop 1993
HARRY BECKETT Tribute To Charles Mingus album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tribute To Charles Mingus
Hard Bop 1999
HARRY BECKETT The Modern Sound Of Harry Beckett album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Modern Sound Of Harry Beckett
Dub/Ska/Reggae 2008

HARRY BECKETT EPs & splits

HARRY BECKETT live albums

HARRY BECKETT Themes For Fega album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Themes For Fega
Fusion 1972
HARRY BECKETT Memories Of Bacares album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Memories Of Bacares
Fusion 1975
HARRY BECKETT Bremen Concert album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bremen Concert
Post Bop 1988
HARRY BECKETT Harry Beckett, Courtney Pine ‎: Live Vol.2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Harry Beckett, Courtney Pine ‎: Live Vol.2
Post Bop 1989
HARRY BECKETT Before and After album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Before and After
Hard Bop 2001
HARRY BECKETT Still Happy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Still Happy
Fusion 2016

HARRY BECKETT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

HARRY BECKETT re-issues & compilations

HARRY BECKETT Warm Smiles & Themes For Fega album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Warm Smiles & Themes For Fega
Fusion 2006

HARRY BECKETT singles (0)

HARRY BECKETT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

HARRY BECKETT Reviews

HARRY BECKETT Themes For Fega

Live album · 1972 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
For his third solo album, HB reproduced more or less the formula that made his first tw albums (Flare Up and Warm Smiles) artistic successes, by reconvening more or less the same line-up, this time with the return of saxman Alan Skidmore (he had missed WS). Again produced by Terry Brown, but recorded in Feb 72 in a different London studio, TFF was again released on the RCA label. Again, like in the previous Warm Smiles, all tracks are Beckett compositions, but in this case, the original release might have been a double-disc affair, by seeing the total track times.

Opening on dissonant trumpet squeals in the short Little One album intro, Spiral Feelings quickly digresses in an up-tempoed Bitches/Miles-like improv that gradually slows and become more melodic, but by the time it segues into Chandeliers And Mirrors, all hell had gone loose, only to slow down again soon after. A little later on, with the excellent Cry Of Triumph, a solid track that features a Spanish-tinged chorus and splendid flugelhorn solos of the same ilk, it might just be the album’s highlight. The short I’m Easy (not that much, really) is really a trampoline for the following 14-mins+ Enchanted, which opens on Laurence’s bass and Ricotti’s vibes, the whole thing veering in a fast hard bop-ish groove, with Taylor’s Rhodes taking a lengthy solo, first demolishing the rhythm then joining the suddenly-rebuilt theme, but in a much slower tempo. The 13-mins Everyone Is Me is definitely more modern jazz, but not necessarily more adventurous, even if the track goes totally dissonant and free for a minute or so in the middle section, but what to say about the closing (and thankfully short) Farewell Fega track. The last three tracks have bee n recorded live; BTW.

Like many early-70’s British jazz albums, TFF was unavailable in any kind of format for literally decades, until the always-subtle Vocalion Label (despite jazz not being their specialty) finally released it, coupled with the previous Warm Smiles on a 2on2 CD reissue in 06. I certainly wouldn’t call WS and TFF anything close to “twin-albums”, because if the personnel is almost the same, sonically they’re fairly different the much-longer latter album being more dissonant and less accessible for the standard jazz-head.

HARRY BECKETT Warm Smiles

Album · 1971 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
After his sometimes-excellent Flare Up solo debut album, Barbados-born Harry Beckett came back with a solid second album, released the following year. Recorded midway through 71 in the London’s now-defunct Command studio (for the RCA label), HB reconvened most of his previous album’s quartet of participants (Taylor, Webb, Laurence) and again adding the same guests (percussionist Ricotti and saxman Osborne), to more or less duplicate Flare Up’s formula, despite some distinct differences between the two oeuvres.

Indeed, the 71-released Warm Smiles is once more halfway-torn between post-bop jazz and some red hot fusion. Opening on the loose 4/4 Harambee track, the album gets a 100 mph start, dictated by Webb’s fast drumming, but Beckett’s versatile trmpet provides some entertaining thoughts, underlined by Taylor’s Rhodes, with which he pulls a cools solo, 2/3 of the way through. The cooler Tender Is The Sky is much more “standardy” with Taylor switching to the acoustic piano, but the thing sounds tame ‘(and even lame) compared to the surrounding tracks. Indeed, the almost9-mins To Me, For Me opens on cosmic-jungle percussions (Frank Ricotti joined) coupled with Taylor’s moody Rhodes, before Beckett’s horn goes wild (and sometimes dissonant) on a boppy bass and drums base. The whole thing can sometimes be reminiscent of a Mwanihi-crossed Blue Note album.

The Shorter flipside opens on the gentle title track, and Osborne’s sax adds much colour to the soft melodies, where Taylor’s Rhodes adds much depth and a touch of modernism. The album-closing almost-10mins Tomorrow Early Morning is the album’s most adventurous track, where the augmented quartet gets funky (somewhere between Bitches and Mwandishi), with some almost-boppy chorus line, but filled with excellent solos from Osborne, Beckett and Ricotti.

Like many early-70’s British jazz albums, Warm Smiles was unavailable in any kind of format for literally decades, until the always-subtle Vocalion Label (despite jazz not being their specialty) finally released it, coupled with the following Theme For Fega, on a 2on2 CD reissue in 06. With many excellent moments, this album is well worth the investigation, especially linked with the more adventurous Fega album.

HARRY BECKETT Flare Up

Album · 1970 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Despite the Barbados-born tumpetist being a permanent fixture on the British jazz-scene (since 54), he had to wait until 70 to be able to record his own debut solo album, while having paid his dues in the Graham Collier outfits and in The New Jazz Orchestra, the Hartley, Westbrook and Surman combos and more. After talks of an initial live project album fell through in 69, a second try the following year produced the present album, but with a very different line-up than the original project had planned, but he brought in musicians and composition from the Collier and the Surman crowd. But what a debut album it was: a typical album that was seeping from the London-scene, with the likes of Skidmore, Osborne, Surman, Ricotti and Taylor, just to name those.

Opening on the furious but rather-standard Beckett-penned title track (sounding like a Lionel Hampton tune), the album shows quite a vast spectrum of moods and influences, especially with the following Go West (one of four Collier compositions) which could’ve found a space on either Down Another Road or Song For My Father, and features a rocking rhythm (you’d swear this is Marshall on the drum stool, but it’s John Webb) with amazing solos from Harry, the Surman, then both with Skidmore in a slightly dissonant improv, until Taylor ends it all. The much calmer typical Surman track When Fortune Smiles (from his same album) deepens the exploration of gentle dissonance, but nothing to be afraid about. The shorter tracks are succeeding each other in a variety of climates, but Collier’s Third Road (again with some awesome drumming and Taylor’s Rhodes) and climaxes

Over on the flipside, the Beckett-penned 100-mph Flow Stream is again in the more standard-jazz mould (like the album’s title track), where Ricotti’s vibes are echoed by Taylor’s Rhodes, both underlying Beckett’s wailings. Next to that, the slow ballad is rather pretty and beautiful and bringing yet another shade to the album. But this writer prefers much more the instantly-recognizable Collier mid-tempo Rolli’s Tune, which again brings much depth to the album. The closing Fool’s Play hovers between Harry and Graham, but the horn chorus gives away Beckett’s paw (his best composition on the album), even if the solos would almost dispel it., but the album’s ending is a little unexpectedly “stange”.

While calling it a JR/F album would be quite a stretch, FU is one of those few discs that made the line rather blurry between the jazz and the rock idioms, even if there is no doubt it is closer to the former. If Flare Up is a pretty damn album, it owes it much to Collier’s (and Surman’s) more adventurous compositions than Beckett’s more standard-y songwriting. You could no problem file this album right next to Collier’s: it is definitely worthy of the prestigious proximity.

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