Rufus Harley: 5/30/1936 - 7/31/2006


RufusHarleyBack in May, I wrote an Anniversaries article (which doubled as a review of his wonderful 1972 album Re-Creation of the Gods, finally reissued on CD around that time) for jazz bagpiper Rufus Harley's 70th birthday. Now, a sad update: Harley died this past Monday morning of prostate cancer. Tragically, the costs of his illness and final arrangements have added up to more than his family can handle (so often, we reward our most imaginative talents so little). Helpful donations can be sent to his son, trumpeter Messiah Harley, at: Messiah Harley 944 East Johnson Street, Apt. 202B Philadelphia, PA 19138.

Thanking you in advance.- Steve Holtje sholtje.jpg

Mr. Holtje had long been meaning to travel to Philly to catch one of Mr. Harley's weekly Tuesday night sets. Now it's too late. All that's left is to cherish the Atlantic LPs, continue to marvel at the brilliance of Re-Creation of the Gods, savor his piquant guest appearances with The Roots, Sonny Rollins, and others, and finally track down his 2005 release in France, Sustain.