Philip Harper was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He started played trumpet when he was ten under the tutorage of his brother. Later he studied at Hartt School of Music with Jackie McLean. At the age of 18 Philip moved to New York, where he started working and recording extensively, with such musicians as "Little" Jimmy Scott, Jimmy McGriff, Betty Carter, Etta Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bill Cosby and Cedar Walton. Between the years 1986 and 1988 he was a member of Art Blakey´s Jazz Messengers, with whom he also made several live recordings. After leaving the Messengers he formed a group with his brother Winard on drums, The Harper Brothers. The group toured throughout the world and made several widely successful albums for Polygram/Verve. Philip Harper has made over 50 recordings, both as leader - his solo albums "Soulful Sin" and "The Thirteenth Moon" on Muse Records - and sideman, which has earned him number one position on numerous jazz play lists and critic polls. As well as touring with various groups worldwide, he also teaches and gives workshops in several conservatories in Europe.
The Mads Vinding Trio was formed in 1997 after a project with the Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and drummer Alex Riel. The project resulted in the CD "The Kingdom", which in 1998 was voted Jazz CD of the Year.
Mads can be heard to full advantage in duo and trio formations where he has developed the ability to bring the bass into focus without feeling the necessity to play a multitude of notes. On the contrary, he confesses to practising the art of restraint - "to make a little go a long way" - and, not least, the art of playing softly. "These days people play very loud. They destroy the ears of the audience. At a place like the Copenhagen JazzHouse it's quite possible to play acoustic bass, and the audience can hear everything once they have become accustomed to that level. With this insight, Mads Vinding today plays mainly acoustically - that is to say with the very minimum of electrical amplification - on most of his engagements. He admits, however, that he too has been guilty of playing too loudly. "When I was with the Danish Radio Big Band in the old days, I was the one who played loudest of all!"
After 35 years as a musician who has always been much in demand, Mads' enthusiasm for playing is still as great as ever. It feels almost as though he has been on the Danish jazz scene since time immemorial. At the end of the '60s he was the house bassist at the legendary jazz club Montmartre in Copenhagen where he played with many of the visitors as well as the Americans who were residing at that time in the capital, such as Ben Webster, Kenny Drew and Stan Getz. Mads has taken part in around 600 recording sessions and has played all over the world with numerous Danish and internationally renowned musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Svend Asmussen.
Based on an interview with Mads Vinding in Politiken, Kultur och Debatt, side 1, on 3 May 2000. (When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts)
Research: Charles Gavatin
Translation: Dave Castle
Photo: Patrik Cederman Fotograf ©
TMcCD 021 Reunion