Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rufus Harley - A Tribute To Courage

Just when you thought you'd heard it all, along comes a jazz bagpipe player. Make no mistake folks, this is more than a joke -- whatever you might think, the cat can play. At first it sounds like some sort of weird organ, but a couple of minutes later you can't mistake it for anything but what it is. Like an organ, though, the bagpipe turns out to be remarkably suited for jazz. With little effort, one man can make an absolute ocean of sound. The groove here is nothing special, a solid soul-jazz feeling. Side one is all bagpipe. Side two is the leader on a number of different instruments. A talented fellow. - by Rob Ferrier, AMG

Brilliant work by one of the most unusual jazz talents of the 60s! Rufus Harley's best known for his use of bagpipes in jazz music – a re-cooption of the instrument from Scottish styles, taking it back to its roots in northern Africa. A number of Harley's other albums from the time are a bit gimmicky – but this later set is a soul jazz masterpiece, infused with rich Coltrane-like modes of expression, as Harley plays both soprano sax and bagpipes over some long modal original compositions! The group is a great one – with Oliver Collins playing some fantastic spiraling lines on piano, and great bass and drum work by James Glenn & Billy Abner. Titles include "Ali", "X", "About Trane", "Tribute To Courage", and a great version of "Sunny"! (White label promo. Cover has some edge wear, a promo sticker, anda name in marker on back.) - Dusty Groove, Inc.

Artist: Rufus Harley
Album: A Tribute To Courage
Year: 1968
Label: Warner Japan (24bit remastered, 2014)
Runtime: 35:46

1.  Sunny (Bobby Hebb) 7:06
2.  A Tribute To Courage (JFK) (Rufus Harley) 7:46
3.  Swing Low Little Charriot (Traditional) 5:35
4.  Ali (Rufus Harley) 4:03
5.  "X" (Rufus Harley) 3:32
6.  About Trane (Rufus Harley) 7:44

Rufus Harley (Bagpipes, Piano, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone)
James Glenn (Bass)
Billy Abner (Drums)
Oliver Collins (Piano)
Robert Kenyatta (Congas) - 1-3


  1. Wonderful! I heard Rufus Harley on a compilation album "for JC" and loved his contribution. This is the first time I come across this album and I am playing it at this moment and enjoying it. And about one thinking one has "heard it all and then..." , allow me to demonstrate my gratitude for this post with some steel guitar jazz I found a few months ago. It's by Buddie Emmons -



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