Joel Harrison: Urban Myths (2009)

By Published: | 3,184 views
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Joel Harrison: Urban Myths
A key element in Joel Harrison's history is what he calls the "electric jazz" of the '70s. So this smart and inventive guitarist offers his own reconsideration of the music championed nearly 40 years ago.

This is powerfully intense music but also has a sense of play that keeps its ingredients engaging. The set opens with a groove that seems to emerge out of a mist—the curious air of the beginning suddenly develops into what Harrison calls a "circular groove" and keeps pulsing hypnotically thanks to the sterling solo work of violinist Christian Howes
Christian Howes
Christian Howes
b.1972
violin
and saxophonist David Binney
David Binney
David Binney
b.1961
saxophone
, supported by the dervish-like rhythms of drummer Jordan Perlson, bassist Stephan Crump and electric pianist Daniel Kelly
Daniel Kelly

piano
.

In the extraordinary set of "Straight No Chaser" variations, Monk's tune appears in the midst of funk textures and serious compositional notation. There's a horn section too as Binney is joined by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire
b.1982
trumpet
, tenor saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh
Jerome Sabbagh
Jerome Sabbagh
b.1973
saxophone
and trombonist Corey King.

Harrison lovingly celebrates an early New York champion, the late club owner Queva Lutz (of 55Bar fame), in the hauntingly beautiful "Last Waltz for Queva". With glowing guitar work, the tune becomes a kind of country, rhythm 'n' blues hymn.

These tunes are delightful reminders that electricity, jazz, a classical sensibility and more coexist powerfully in the music of Harrison.

Track Listing: You Must Go Through A Winter; 125 and Lenox; Mood Rodeo; Last Waltz for Queva; Straight No Chaser (variations); Between the Traveler and the Setting Sun; Urban Myths; High Expectations Low Return.

Personnel: Joel Harrison: guitar; David Binney: alto saxophone; Christian Howes: violin; Daniel Kelly: keyboards; Stephan Crump: acoustic bass; Jordan Person: drums; Fima Ephron: electric bass (2, 8); Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (4, 5, 7); Corey King: trombone (4, 5, 7); Jerome Sabbag: tenor saxophone (4, 5).

Record Label: HighNote Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google