Harry Smallenburg has had a varied career as an educator, composer, arranger, and musician, playing both in the Detroit area and in Southern California, where he lives currently.
He started out playing trombone because he didn't think his parents would let him play drums, but when he finally conned them into it, his teacher said he'd better learn mallet instruments too.
That was the beginning of vibes, and he's stuck with them ever since, though he also gigs on drums and trombone.
He's played with area classical and jazz groups, most recently appearing on Steve Wilkerson's CD, Licorice Ice.
Teaching literature, humanities, history of science, and literature of the Bible has brought him into touch with a wide variety of styles and attitudes, from Samuel Beckett and James Joyce to John Cage, Harrison Birtwistle, and Harry Partch, not to mention John Coltrane, the World Sax Quartet, and Charles Mingus.
Harry often tells classes he has the largest collection of CDs no one else wants to listen to in all of Southern California.
He plays them for captive classroom audiences.
"Live at the Balzac" was recorded over a series of evening sessions out in Azusa.
The musicians obviously did.