Reviews that mention Joe Harriott

March 22, 2016

Microgroove: Forays into Other Music

John Corbett
Duke University Press

By Ken Waxman

Searching for the equivalent of a travel guide to the often uncharted territories of turn-of-the-century, so-called other music should lead to this volume. A collection of essays, interviews and reviews written between 1990 and 2014, Microgroove outlines the achievements of many of the progenitors and disseminators of non-mainstream music during that epoch. A Chicago-based music writer, concert promoter, art curator and record producer, John Corbett has been intimately involved with variants of what he describes as “music that demands a different mode of listening” for decades. Like an embedded anthropologist studying the culture of particular tribes Corbett is also able to place these sonic advances in a global context. MORE

September 26, 2015

Phil Seamen

The Late Great
SWP 037

Mike Osborne


Cuneiform RUNE 392

Participating in the transition from Jazz to Free Jazz were two British musicians who physically or mentally didn’t survive the 1970s. Individually, alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007) and drummer Phil Seamen (1926-1972), participated in many of the define sessions that marked the definition of Jazz in the United Kingdom as a separate, non-American idiom in the 1950s and 1960s (Seamen) and the 1960s and 1970s (Osborne) and these CDs collect some of their most notable work. MORE

January 17, 2005

Mike Osborne Trio & Quintet

Border crossing & Marcel’s Muse

Joe Harriott Quintet
Swings High

By Ken Waxman
January 17, 2005

All during the 1960s and 1970s, a group of forward-thinking British improvisers was working on different strategies to move their music past what was then considered modern jazz. Some, like guitarist Derek Bailey and saxophonist Evan Parker, emphasized their distance from jazz to create irregularly pulsed so-called Free Improvisation.

Others, who didn’t want as radical a break from the tradition, evolved a free bop style that put the advances of American innovators like Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane into a rapidly paced framework. Years later, the advances of non-representational practitioners like Parker are better remembered than the experiments of the modifiers. Of course it helps that many of the free musicians -- and their Continental colleagues -- are still alive and playing impressively today. MORE

January 12, 2004


By Alan Robertson
Northway Publications

Known -- if at all -- by North Americans as sort of a British Ornette Coleman who did some free form experiments in the early 1960s, the career of Jamaican-born alto saxophonist Joe Harriott demonstrates one of the failings of an Americentric view of jazz.

For, as this book by first-time biographer Alan Robertson demonstrates, Harriott (1928-1973) was an entirely different breed of cat than Coleman. He was one whose triumphs, and likely his final disappointments before his death of tuberculosis and cancer of the spine at 44, were related to shape and size of the somewhat insular British jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s. MORE