On Harry Whitaker’s Black Renaissance

On January 15, 1976—what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 47th birthday—the pianist Harry Whitaker assembled a group of musicians at Sound Ideas Studio on West 46th Street in Manhattan to record what would eventually be released as Black Renaissance – Body, Mind And Spirit. Whitaker had gained experience playing piano in Roy Ayers’ band and as musical director for Roberta Flack for most of the 1970s, but this session was an opportunity for Whitaker to see his specific musical vision become reality.