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R.I.P. Billy Higgins

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  • R.I.P. Billy Higgins

    Just got word that Billy Higgins died yesterday after a long battle with liver disease. He was 65.

    Here's a photo link:
    http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers...20Higgins.html

    Any of you guys who are into jazz know about Billy. Some of you others would do well to check out some of his recordings.

    Higgins is probably best known for being the drummer for the early Ornette Coleman Quartet on albums like 'Something Else' and 'Shape of Jazz to Come'. He was on the genre-naming 'Free Jazz' album with the late Ed Blackwell, who replaced him in the group.

    Like a lot of in-demand rhythm players, Billy Higgins has a list of recording credits as long as the ocean is wide. I just checked out his entry in the All Music Guide webpage; his list of credits there is astonishing. He played with Monk, Coltrane, Jackie Mclean, Dexter Gordon, Steve Lacy, Lee Morgan, Joshua Redman, and Cedar Walton.

    He also appears in the band backing Dexter Gordon in the movie 'Round Midnight'.

    He released a handful of recordings under his own name; recommended albums include 'Mr. Billy Higgins', 'Billy Higgins Quartet', and '3/4 for Peace'.

    Readers of Modern Drummer may recall the March 1999 issue which features a transcription of Higgin's drum solo on the song 'Let's Cool One' on the Steve Lacy album 'Evidence', a collection of Thelonious Monk tunes.

    Cedar Walton's album 'Art Blakey Legacy' has Higgins in the Blakey role. He has a smashing solo on 'Caravan'.

    Maybe some of you other jazz fans can make some recommendations.

    Rest well, Mr. Higgins.

    [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited May 04, 2001).]

  • #2
    Interesting that he started his career playing R&B and rock (in California)! Other good sounds are in "Soweto", "The Soldier", "Bridgework" and "Mirrormirror".

    --------------------------
    -~

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    • #3
      what is this crap, all i listen to is peart,wecky,portnose,dave mattass,its still 1975. leave me alone.

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      • #4
        Well, I didn't expect many replies. He was a fairly unassuming drummer better known for his work as a sideman; he wasn't a flashy soloist and he really didn't perform in experimental contexts (like in a duo or straight solo performance) like some of his contemporaries.

        If anyone's interested, I will be sitting in on a college radio station here in the Chicago area on Tuesday. I'm confident that the regular DJ will allow me some time to play Mr. Higgins a tribute. The show will be between 9:30am and 12:30am (Central Time Zone); the tribute will be within that time. The station is WNUR, FM 89.3 the Northwestern University station.

        There is a simulcast link on the stations's webpage, www.wnur.org, which allows anyone in the world to listen via the web.

        Listen in. I'm sure Neil Peart, Dave Weckyl, Mike Portnoy and Steve Gadd would want you to.

        DJourg

        [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited May 05, 2001).]

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        • #5
          cpgrossman. Shut up. A man died. Dont you care?
          TD-8, Pintech pads, Pearl rack, Mackie SRM-450, Behringer 802 mixer and DSP1400 UltraMizer, Electric Sticks.

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          • #6
            Dear schmonk:I have studyed ed blackwell and billy higgin's music for years. not to mention ornette's (and played with one of his sideman/students.I have billy's first record(very hard to find)On the phone with Djourg we guessed that you might not know much about thease artist.What i posted was a joke.mocking the people here, that only listen to the same old corporate stuff.I guess my humor does not translate across the big pond

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            • #7
              [QUOTE]Originally posted by DJourg:
              [B]Just got word that Billy Higgins died yesterday after a long battle with liver disease. He was 65.

              Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. Many of the jazz greats will be going to that "big band" in the sky over the next 5-10 years. Many young players have never had he exposure to the nuance and musicality of a Billy Higgins, too bad. Thanks again

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE]Originally posted by DJourg:
                [B]Just got word that Billy Higgins died yesterday after a long battle with liver disease. He was 65.

                Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. Many of the jazz greats will be going to that "big band" in the sky over the next 5-10 years. Many young players have never had the exposure to the nuance and musicality of a Billy Higgins, too bad. Thanks again

                Comment

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