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Bassist Arthur Harper Dies

Arthur Harper Jr., a bassist who worked with Shirley Scott, Charles Mingus and many other notable jazz leaders, died July 5 at his home in Germantown, Penn., of lung cancer. He was 65.

Harper was born in Asheville, N.C. and raised in Philadelphia, where he studied music in high school and played with the Heath Brothers, the Bryant Brother sand Lee Morgan. Harper quit high school for the opportunity to play with a number of luminaries including Betty Carter and Bud Powell. In 1961 Jimmy Heath recommended Harper to trombonist J.J. Johnson, who hired him as the bassist in his touring sextet. Harper held that position for 12 years, and during that time relocated to New York, where he lived with drummer Granville “Mickey” Roker and worked frequently at the Hickory House.

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