Steve Harris Zaum: I hope you never love anything as much as I love you (2007)
As a composer, bandleader and percussionist, Harris had a wealth of styles from which to draw. But one would be hardpressed to find overt elements of any identifiable genres on the new record, recorded live in Dorset in 2006. It's not fusion so much as a purposeful eclipsing of style. Parallels can be made: with processed chanted vocals under layers of sound, parts can be reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's less poppy work; the guitar effects occasionally ring of some of Bill Frisell's earlier records and the samples mixed with guest Andrea Parkins' accordion create, at times, a vaguely Mediterranean feel.
But those are all qualities that drift by in the mix. The only thing that often leaps out of the sound bed here is Geoff Hearn's saxophone and even then it's not because he's forcing his way through so much as that his is the only acoustic melody voice. Hearn does step into the occasional solo, but he's also adept at hiding in the mix, as is Harris, whose strong, often sparse drumming nicely frames the group sound without pushing or counteracting. His website has been made into an online memorial with tributes from those who knew him. He may be gone, but his was a sound world worth investigating.
Track Listing: rise in sin; from dancing ledge; reid's palace; he knows how to drive but he never goes far; juarez; winter everywhere; watt's curve.
Personnel: Steve Harris: drums; Cathy Stevens: violectra; Geoff Hearn: saxophones; Karen Winhurs: clarinets; Udo Dzeizanowski: guitars; Jim Black: guitars; Andrian Newton: samples; Andrea Parkins: accordion, laptop; Kathy Prince: vocals; Tina Leeming: vocals; Fliss Kingston: vocals; Julie Harris: vocals.
Record Label: Amazon Records