Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Song of the day: #31 Rufus Harley – "Acknowledgement (A Love Supreme)"

"i think this is the first time I've ever seen a brother playing bagpipes and wearing a kilt!" exclaims someone in the comments. Rufus Harley was the first jazz musician to adopt the Highland bagpipes as his instrument of choice. Here he plays a great version of Coltrane's "Acknowledgement" off the classic album A Love Supreme, interpolating a little bit of "Greensleeves" along the way (and why not). This 1987 performance is from a live DVD of Harley and the Sun Ra Arkestra (which i haven't got, but would very much like to see).

Working as a Philadelphia maintenance man, the young Harley became fascinated with the bagpipes after watching JFK's funeral procession, but couldn't find anywhere in town that had any to sell him. Eventually he had to travel to New York, where he found a set in a Jewish pawn shop. Apparently he used to practice piping in his apartment to his neighbours' great ire, but when the cops turned up after noise complaints, he would quickly stash the pipes away out of sight and ask the officers, "do I look like I'm Irish or Scottish to you?" He also played with Sonny Rollins, Laurie Anderson and The Roots, among others.

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