Beaver Harris

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William Godvin "Beaver" Harris (born April 20, 1936 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , † December 22, 1991 in New York ) was an American jazz drummer .

Harris played the clarinet and alto saxophone as a teenager. He was active as a baseball player in the professional leagues (his nickname goes back to this activity). During his time in the army, he switched to the drum set . He then moved to New York City in 1963 , where Max Roach encouraged him to try a career as a musician and he worked with Sonny Rollins , Thelonious Monk , Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard . In 1966 he played with Archie Shepp , with whom he also went on a European tour and recorded the Impulse album The Way Ahead in 1968 . He gigged with Albert Ayler and then worked with Sonny Stitt , Dexter Gordon and Clark Terry . At the end of the 1960s, he and Grachan Moncur III founded the cooperative free jazz ensemble 360 Degree Experience . During this time he recorded with Steve Lacy , Larry Coryell and the Jazz Composers Orchestra . Harris also performed theater music: he was with Shepp on LeRoi Jones Slave Ship (1970) and Aishah Rahman's Lady Day: A Musical Tragedy . In 1973 he toured Japan with Gato Barbieri , Lee Konitz and Shepp .

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