A jazz-based power trio whose music mixes the muscular impact of hard rock with the sonic exploration of free jazz, Harriet Tubman are fittingly named for the iconic civil rights activist and abolitionist who devoted her life to the freedom of her people. Coming together in the late '90s, they have issued a handful of highly engaging albums like 2000's Prototype, and 2017's Araminta, the latter of which featured guest trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

Formed in New York City in 1998, Harriet Tubman features bassist Melvin Gibbs, guitarist Brandon Ross, and percussionist J.T. Lewis. Prior to joining forces, Gibbs had built an eclectic discography collaborating with Ronald Shannon Jackson, Arto Lindsay, George Clinton, and Henry Rollins. Similarly, Ross had previously worked with Cassandra Wilson, Henry Threadgill, and Don Byron, while Lewis had divided his time between studio work with the likes of Whitney Houston, Sting, and Donna Summer and jazz gigs alongside Bill Laswell, William Parker, and Roy Ayers. The trio made their debut in 1998 with the album I Am a Man, recording for the Knitting Factory Works imprint. Their second album, Prototype, followed in 2000 for the Avant label.

The many commitments of the three musicians kept them from reuniting in the studio until 2011, when Sunnyside Communications issued their third album, Ascension. Harriet Tubman returned in early 2017 with a fourth album, Araminta, in which Gibbs, Ross, and Lewis were joined by trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. The Scotty Hard-produced The Terror End of Beauty arrived the following year. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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