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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett

On-U Sound ONUCD 12




1. Something Special
2. Ultimate Tribute
3. Fantastic Things
4. The Storyteller
5. Facing It
6. Rise & Shine (Cry of Triumph)
7. The Forgotten Man
8. Out of the Blue
9. Switch Up!
1. Like You Didn't Know
11. Are You Sitting Comfortably?
12. Everything Will Flip
Harry Beckett - Trumpet
Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie - Piano, organ, bass, vocals, programming beats
Dave "Flash" Wright - Sax, flute
Jazzwad, Paget King - Drum programme, bass, piano
Skip McDonald - Guitar
Orphy Robinson - Vibes
Junior Delgado - Vocals
Louie Beckett - Sound effects, additional production
Alan Glen - Mouth organ
Deji Bakari - Steel pan
Nick Coplowe , Doug Wimbish - Bass



Earlier this year, my review of Graham Collier's Down Another Road on this website probably made it clear that I admire trumpeter Harry Beckett. His new album puts him in an unusual context. Producer Adrian Sherwood supplies a background of programmed electronic rhythm, dub, reggae and vocals, over which Beckett improvises. The mix is intriguing, although jazz devotees will find that the jazz element is often outweighed by the other elements - especially the militantly repetitive beats, which conflict with jazz flexibility. As a result, Harry is left to rhapsodise sparingly above an over-busy accompaniment which hinders him rather than helping - and often takes over completely.

As Harry Beckett has West Indian roots (he was born in Barbados), you might have expected the mix with reggae and dub elements to work better but they actually conflict with hearing Beckett meaningfully. This isn't so much a Harry Beckett album as an Adrian Sherwood production with Harry as a mere ingredient in a complicated mix aimed at the dance-floor instead of the jazz listener. As Mitsuru Ogawa's (misprinted) sleeve-notes frankly say: "It isn't jazz".

Tony Augarde





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