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There is a theme of currents to the music of Small Wonders, although it is not stated in the titles. Minneapolis guitarist Zacc Harris pours the music from this album into your ears, metaphorically speaking. At times it is a cascade, in other places just a trickle. Either way, listeners are encouraged to float along, and going with the flow is a natural reaction to this music. Small Wonders is the second release by the Zacc Harris Group, following The Garden (Shifting Paradigm Records, 2012). Harris maintains the same lineup, plus the addition of tenor saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, a partner from the Atlantis Quartet.
Opening with the rumbling thunder of "Ominous Skies," the full sextet rushes into the theme before pausing for brief solos by first Wozniak, then Harris, trumpeter John Raymond, and drummer JT Bates. The flow is dynamic, one only available to a tight working unit. The compositions, all by Harris, are diverse. He works a waltz "Glass Houses" to great effect with the rhythm section levitating his solo and those of Raymond and Wozniak. The ease with which this group navigates and their interplay is magical. That theme of currents is evident in the efficient briskness of "A Beautiful Life" and the New Orleans shuffle of "Apple Jacks" which was inspired by the percussive penchants of Ahmad Jamal. Harris' notes indicate that this band is inspired by Miles Davis' second great quintet. That is most evident with the turbulence of "The Void," a solid burner which must be a favorite in live performance. Ending with the beautiful "Maya Song," dedicated to his daughter, the current slows but nonetheless still continues the floating undercurrents of Harris.
Ominous Skies; Sundials; Glass Houses; Civil Dawn; A Beautiful Life; The Void; Mixed Signals;
Apple Jacks; Maya Song.