Harry Miller - The Collection (1999) (3CD)
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Harry Miller - The Collection (1999) (3CD)

  • Genre: Jazz, FLAC / APE
  • Formats: MP3 FLAC WMA HD APE
  • Album Size: 1599 mb.
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Artist: Harry Miller
Title Of Album: The Collection
Year: 1999
Label: Ogun
Style: Jazz, Free Jazz, African, World Fusion
Format: FLAC(tracks +.cue, log + Covers)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Size: 1.06GB (+ 3% rec.)
Harry Miller, for anyone who doesn't know (and up until a few years back I wasn't aware of him either) was a double bassist, one of the South African musicians who made Britain his home in the '60s. His recorded output was phenominal but there were very few releases under his own name during his lifetime - this collection brings those 5 albums together on 3CDs.
For those expecting packaging on a par with the Ayler boxset or the Columbia/Miles Davis collections, this package is spartan by comparison. The booklet is informative - covering collaborators recollections of Miller but the only access to the original liner notes is on the CDs themselves, where the original packaging has been reduced to CD-sized slipcases - have a magnifying glass at the ready!
But don't let the packaging sway you. The music is exceptional! What you get is Miller in 5 different line-ups, ranging from solo to sextet.
Children At Play: This is Miller playing solo, using over-dubbing to create multiple bass-lines and added rhythmic percussion. For those who have heard Henri Texier's first two albums (Varech and Amir) this explores similar territory.
Bracknell Breakdown: This album features Miller in a duo with trombonist Radu Malfatti. Of all the material, I find this the hardest work to listen to. Not that the perseverance isn't rewarding. There is some very remarkable playing by both players, with Malfatti seeming to take more risks with the music.
Family Affair: This album features Miller's sextet "Isipingo" with fellow members of Brotherhood of Breath Mike Osborne (alto), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Marc Charig (trumpet) and Louis Moholo (drums) with Keith Tippett on piano. If you've heard the recent releases of Isipingo playing live (Full Steam Ahead and Which Way Now) you'll know what to expect from this album. The tracks are shorter in length than when the band was able to open up in a live situation (the good-old limitations of vinyl!) but the playing, Moholo and Osborne especially, is nothing short of amazing.
In Conference: Another sextet album with Moholo and Tippett making up the rhythm session but with Julie Tippett on vocals, and Willem Breuker and Trevor Watts on reeds. The presence of Breuker made me expect something extremely 'out there' but, with the expection of the first track "Traumatic Experience", I found that the music explored far more territory than the blow-out I'd expected, ranging from groove-laden tunes reflecting Miller's South African roots to expressionistic beauty. Julie Tippett's voice blends well with the horns and the more I listen to her, the more I am impressed.
Down South: This is a quintet session with only Marc Charig (on cornet and alto horn) carried over from any of the previous collaborations. The mad-priest of percussion, Dutchman Han Bennink, takes over the drum seat and is joined by Sean Bergin on tenor sax and Wolter Wierbos on trombone. The music works in a similar way to Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath on a smaller scale - funky grooves over-laid with free-form solos (as if the Ayler brothers had found themselves in the Basie band!) None of these musicians should be under-estimated.
Hazel Miller (Harry's wife) and Ogun Records should be praised to the skies for releasing this package. The only problem being is that it is extremely hard to track down. Apparently Ogun aren't going to press any more copies, which is a crying shame because this music deserves to be heard by more people, by everyone. If you do find a copy of it anywhere, I recommend you buy it, you're unlikely to see it again.
Tracklist:
CD 1
01. H&H (03.04)
02. Children at play (phase I & II) (08.22)
03. Homeboy (04.58)
04. Foregone conclusion (15.31)
05. Children at play (phase III) (04.23)
06. Family affair (10.32)
07. Touch hungry (10.48)
08. Jumping (15.32)
09. Eli's song (05.30)
CD 2
Bracknell Breakdown • In Conference
The Music:
01. The audient stood on its foot (21.45)
02. Friendly duck (16.20)
03. Traumatic experience (12.55)
04. Orange grove (07.50)
05. Dancing Damon (11.10)
06. New baby (06.19)
07. Traumatic experience closed (01.24)
CD 3
Down South
The Music:
01. Down South (06.43)
02. Ikaya (04.05)
03. Deep down feeling (05.53)
04. Schooldays (06.02)
05. Opportunities (08.01)
06. Flame tree (06.34)
07. Mofolo (07.16)
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Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

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