West Indian Harry Beckett, born in Barbados, brought his own highly personal approaches to the trumpet to the cultural stew of the mid- to late 1960s.
Such is the distinctiveness of Beckett's playing that it continues to be the musical equivalent of DNA, and the elements of it were in place by the time he gained a significant break on record in the band of bass player and composer Graham Collier. Down Another Road, recorded in March of 1969, finds Beckett playing flugelhorn exclusively. August 1970 both Beckett and Evans were working with guitarist Ray Russell on his Rites And Rituals album.
As the 1970s progressed the British jazz scene maintained creative momentum. Elton Dean's band Ninesense, in which Beckett replaced the South African Mongezi Feza, who sadly died prematurely, made a session for BBC Radio 3 in March of 1978. Here Beckett is right at home in a band made up of players who'd all served apprenticeships on the scene, and contributed much to the growing depth of British jazz at a time when the commercial fortunes of the music were not at their highest.
Such has been the breadth of Beckett's musical interests, from post-bop to free improvisation, that finding him working in 2000 with the London Improvisers Orchestra is symptomatic of his musical philosophy. On the orchestral improvisation Proceeding 3 his trumpet is but one voice in a democratic ensemble where, if anything, the very notion of the virtuoso soloist, motivated solely by the opportunity for ever greater technical display, is negated.