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Harry Beckett

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Name  Harry Beckett
Years active  1961–2010

Instruments  Trumpet, flugelhorn
Occupation(s)  Musician
Music group  Jazz Warriors
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Born  30 May 1935 Saint Michael, Barbados (1935-05-30)
Died  July 22, 2010, London, United Kingdom
Albums  Tribute to Charles Mingus, All Four One, Song for Biko
Similar People  Graham Collier, Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Annie Whitehead, Johnny Dyani

Birth name  Harold Winston Beckett

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Harold Winston "Harry" Beckett (30 May 1935 – 22 July 2010) was a British trumpeter and flugelhorn player of Barbadian origin.


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Born in Bridgetown, Saint Michael, Barbados, Harry Beckett learned to play music in a Salvation Army band. A resident in the UK since 1954, he had an international reputation. In 1961, he played with Charles Mingus in the film All Night Long. In the 1960s he worked and recorded within the band of bass player and composer Graham Collier. Beginning in 1970, he led groups of his own, recording for Philips, RCA and Ogun Records among other labels.

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He was a key figure of important groups in the British free jazz/improvised music scene, including Ian Carr's Nucleus, the Brotherhood of Breath and The Dedication Orchestra, London Jazz Composers Orchestra, London Improvisers Orchestra, John Surman's Octet, Django Bates, Ronnie Scott's Quintet, Kathy Stobart, Charlie Watts, Stan Tracey's Big Band and Octet; Elton Dean's Ninesense. He has also recorded with Keef Hartley, Jah Wobble, David Sylvian and worked with David Murray. He toured abroad with Johnny Dyani, Chris McGregor, Keith Tippett, John Tchicai, Joachim Kühn, Dudu Pukwana's Zila, George Gruntz's Bands, Belgian quintet The Wrong Object, Pierre Dørge's New Jungle Band and Annie Whitehead's Robert Wyatt project, Soupsongs, which also featured Phil Manzanera and Julie Tippetts, among other jazz and rock luminaries.

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His dub-oriented album, The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett, was produced by famed British producer Adrian Sherwood and released on On-U Sound in late 2008.

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In 1972, Beckett won the Melody Maker jazz Poll as "Top Trumpeter in Britain". He was a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz between 1997 and 2000.

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Beckett died on 22 July 2010 after suffering a stroke.

Selected discography

  • Flare Up (Jazzprint, 1970) with John Surman, Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore
  • Memories of Bacares (Ogun, 1975) with Daryl Runswick
  • Pictures of You (Virgin, 1985) with Elton Dean, Pete Sabberton, Mick Hutton, Tony Marsh, Tim Whitehead, Leroy Osborne
  • Live, Vol. 2 (West Wind, 1987) with Chris McGregor, Courtney Pine, Clifford Jarvis
  • Passion and Possession (ITM, 1991) Duos with Django Bates, Joachim Kühn, Keith Tippett
  • All Four One (Spotlite, 1991) with Jon Corbett, Claude Deppa
  • Images of Clarity (Evidence, 1992) with Didier Levallet
  • Les Jardins du Casino (ITM, 1993)
  • Before and After (Spotlite, 1999) with Chris Biscoe
  • The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett (On-U Sound, 2008)
  • Suite/Natal with Elton Dean's Ninesense, and trio with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011)
  • Still Happy (My Only Desire Records, 2016) with Don Weller (musician), Alan Wakeman
  • With Graham Collier

  • Deep Dark Blue Centre (Deram, 1967)
  • Down Another Road (Fontana, 1969)
  • Songs for My Father (Fontana, 1970)
  • Mosaics (Philips, 1971)
  • Darius (Mosaic, 1974)
  • Midnight Blue (Mosaic, 1975)
  • Jazz Illustrations (Resources of Music, 1975)
  • Jazz Lecture Concert (Resources of Music, 1975)
  • New Conditions (Mosaic, 1976)
  • Symphony of Scorpions (Mosaic, 1977)
  • The Day of the Dead (Mosaic, 1978)
  • With Barry Guy/The London Jazz Composers' Orchestra

  • Ode (Incus, 1972)
  • With Oliver Nelson

  • Swiss Suite (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
  • [Draft] Complete chronological discography


    Harry Beckett Wikipedia