Just yesterday morning I found out about the passing of Mr. Harry Whitaker. For those who are not acquainted with him, Harry was a brilliant piano player, arranger and composer. Coincidentally as some of my dearest friends, he was born on September 19 1942 in Pensacola, Florida and grew up in Detroit, influenced by the town's fertile music scene.
Harry was part of that super creative post-bitches-brew generation that took spiritual jazz to another level, giving birth to outstanding sessions of oniric music. In New York he became part of Roy Ayers' legendary band "Ubiquity" contributing with outstanding compositions such as "We Live In Brooklyn, Baby!". He later collaborated with R&B singer Roberta Flack serving as musical director for almost a decade and countless are his collaborations with other artists.
As a leader Harry produced several recordings recorded over the years - since the mid 70's - that were released by different labels at different times. One of his most acclaimed albums "Black Renaissance" was issued a few years ago by the record label Ubiquity Records. The session included jazz legends like Dave Schnitter, Woody Shaw, Billy Hart, Buster Williams just to name a few.