Harry Beckett’s Flare Up (1970) is a much talked about and sought-after album from an artist and composer who had a six-decade career in jazz.
The album contains the funk driven track Third Road, which was featured on the critically acclaimed 2020 BJE compilation album Journeys In Modern Jazz; Britain 1965-1972. Beckett’s choice of musicians on the album included John Surman, Alan Skidmore, John Taylor, amongst others, with Graham Collier as co-writter and co-arranger, along with Beckett and Surman.
A Barbadian by birth, Beckett learnt the trumpet with the Salvation Army in the early 1950s before embarking to London as a nineteen year old in 1954. He played with Charles Mingus on the 1962 film score All Night Long, and he was the go-to musician for so many key artists including Graham Collier, John Surman, Mike Westbrook, Chris McGregor, Mike Gibbs, Ian Carr’s Nucleus, Stan Tracey, Jah Wobble, Ronnie Scott, and many others. Beckett played a big part of the early Jazz Warriors Big Band line up in the 1980s with Courtney Pine, Gary Crosby, Steve Williamson, Orphy Robinson, plus others, who achieved international success as a group and individually. Up until Beckett’s death in 2010, he continued to teach trumpet and lecture extensively to the new generation of Jazz Warriors who have gone on to be part of today’s UK jazz scene. His reputation is extended globally, especially across Europe and the US.