Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Billy Higgins: Mr. Billy Higgins (1985

A sweet West Coast session from one of the most immediately recognizable drummers in the history of the music. The keyboard is clearly an electronic grand, and the reverb-y production buries the excellent Tony Dumas' bass in the mix, but the playing is bright and sharp and, IMHO, very much a product of 1985 California — it just sounds sunny, y'know? Gary Bias, best known for his role in the Earth Wind & Fire horn section, plays very authoritatively and wrote three of the five memorable tunes. He can also be heard on an earlier date of his own here.

Higgins is his ebullient and unmistakable self. I'm guessing that's him on the uncredited string instrument (kora maybe?) that opens this version of "John Coltrane."

Originally released on the Riza label, Evidence picked this up in the early 90s, inexplicably reversed the order of the songs (assuming this entry at is correct), and let it fall out of print again. This is the later version, from an eMusic download.

Gary Bias (ss, as, ts)
William Henderson (p)

Tony Dumas (b)

Billy Higgins (d)

1. East Side Stomp - 5:23 (Gary Bias)
2. Humility - 4:58 (Gary Bias)
3. Morning Awakening - 12:00 (Gary Bias)
4. John Coltrane - 12:15 (Bill Lee, Clifton Lee)
5. Dance Of The Clones - 9:03 (William Henderson)

Recorded April 12 & May 29, 1984 at Sound Logic, Glendale, CA


Festoonic said...

g.raf said...

thanks festoonic.
that version of 'coltrane' is excellent!

Wallofsound said...

I always enjoy Dumas and Higgins together. Thanks for sharing.

jiiiiiiiq said...

Wunderbar, einfach wunderbar! Cheers guv!

Calisan said...

Heeeeyy great album and the only one I know from him!
More Gary Bias please!

Anonymous said...
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Frank said...

I knew Billy and from time to time I would photograph
One day he was sitting on a couch net to his young son's skateboard...I took that shot. It's simply a very
strange photograph.
Anyway that was the last time I photographed Billy.
thank you for having this.