This two-fer compiles Harry Beckett's two early-'70s dates for RCA. Warm Smiles draws heavily on the free-flowing, exploratory approach of fellow trumpeter Miles Davis to create a radiant sound perfectly matched to the album's title. Though by no means a trumpeter of Davis' stature or skill, Beckett's supple, evocative tone possesses a sensitivity all its own. Electric pianist John Taylor and vibist Frank Ricotti are no less vital to the music's candlelit glow, creating a sound that's soft but never sleepy.
Themes for Fega remains the most daring and far-reaching set Beckett ever recorded, cut live with a backing unit including saxophonist Alan Skidmore alongside Taylor and Ricotti, its freewheeling, exploratory approach pulses with the spirit of improvisation and the energy of collaboration. Beckett's original compositions afford both the structure and the space that yield focused, creative musical thinking. The solos travel in new and unexpected directions, but never go so far off course into self-indulgence. Most importantly, Beckett's never sounded better: his trumpet soars, each note equal parts intellect and emotion.
|Tender Is the Sky||Harry Beckett||7:35|
|To Me, For Me||Harry Beckett||8:47|
|Warm Smiles||Harry Beckett||8:32|
|Tomorrow Morning Early||Harry Beckett||9:44|