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The John Harle Collection

Compact Disc (Audio)
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John Harle Collection
John Harle Collection


John Harle and Sospiro Records will donate all the proceeds they receive from the sale of The John Harle Collection (digital albums/singles and the CD box set) to the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund Phase 2.

The Coronavirus lockdown has been a challenging time for many artists. Most have learned to embrace new technology and profess to have made use of their time creatively. However, few can make claim to producing an astonishing twenty-album collection in just 5 months, but composer, saxophonist, record producer and educator John Harle, did just that.

John Harle needs no introduction. With such a jaw-droppingly prolific biography it's almost easier to say what he hasn't done, than what he has. He's released so many albums that he's lost count (well over 80) and has written music covering a gamut of genres including opera, modern jazz, saxophone concertos, film scores, classical music and even lounge. He's been musical director and producer for a raft of big names including Elvis Costello, Marc Almond, Herbie Hancock and Sir Harrison Birtwistle, and was artistic advisor and producer to Sir Paul McCartney for six years. He's also responsible for the theme to BBC1's Silent Witness, which is still being used after 20 years.

The John Harle Collection is a 20-volume set of music that straddles his illustrious career from 1977 - 2016 spanning multiple musical disciplines - as both player and composer - in classical, jazz and pop with an array of collaborators. The collection has been tirelessly curated by Harle himself. It is deeply personal and has become what he refers to as something of a "sonic autobiography".

Since the beginning of his career, Harle has collected recordings of all his live and studio performances. So, sifting through hundreds of recordings on multitrack analogue tape, 1/4-inch analogue - even cassette - alongside digital formats such as DAT, DA8 and old WAVs, to compile a 20 CD collection proved a monumental challenge, but one that he's risen to with gusto. Most, but not all, of the material is unreleased; some new, some vintage, some studio, some live - a sort of 'alternative discography'. As Harle explains, "Abandoned strands of music are actually the most autobiographical for most musicians - pieces or demos left unfinished that leave traces of ideas and themes that occupy us for a lifetime, and reappear in successful work when the time is right. "

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