The first hidden gem is Billie Harris of Los Angeles. I recently heard his album I Want Some Water for the first time, recorded in 1980 and released much later on Nimbus.
Billie’s album is dominated by legendary L.A. pianist Horace Tapscott, and in some ways it is as much Tapscott’s session as Billie’s even though Billie wrote all the tunes; Tapscott is just such a commanding presence. I'm not a great jazz piano aficionado but I find anything that Horace Tapscott comes close to worth a listen. Billie plays tenor, soprano, and flute. His tenor, from photos of the session, is a Martin Committee, which proves that you don’t need to play a Selmer to get that spiritual ‘Coltrane sound’. Photographer Mark Weber was at the studio that day, apparently Billie’s only time on record, and has memorialized the day on his web site. Billie Harris is still around, at age 76, and lives in Lancaster, California. Time for another studio date, better late than never?