Album Review

Harley, Rufus – “Bagpipes of The World” – [Transparency]

Cousin Mary   3/24/2010   CD, Jazz

Rufus Harley is a jazz bagpiper and an enthusiastic American patriot and Philadelphian. This 3-CD set features interviews and music from him and his sons. CD 1 has a short interview, then music from Harley playing bagpipes and baby soprano sax with a French bagpipe group. CD 2 begins with a long radio interview made just 6 weeks before his death. CD 2 ends with three cuts and CD 3 begins with 2 cuts from his son trumpeter America Patton Harley. CD 3 finishes off with a 2002 concert recorded with trumpeter Messiah Patton Harley and his father and some unnamed Jamaican musicians.

It’s tempting to laugh at Rufus Harley’s rambling free-association philosophy, but the cat is so sweet and sincere that you are compelled to listen and respect. Recording quality is not always great, but this is a treasure from this unique musician.

CD3 track 5 is a reggae version of Stormy Weather with jazz bagpipe! How KFJC can you be?

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