Harrison, Joel - Spirit House

SKU 25-WHI-CD-4673
Joel Harrison - guitar, voice
Cuong Vu - trumpet
Paul Hanson - bassoon
Kermit Driscoll - bass
Brian Blade - drums, voice

"US guitarist Joel Harrison has forged resonant Americana, raw-edged rock and a rich jazz palette into densely textured originality. And with Brian Blade on drums and Paul Hanson’s bassoon in the front line, his quintet has the sonic resources to match."-The Financial Times

"A broad-thinking musician with a prolific and extensive back catalog of releases – from duo and chamber to big band formats, from West African to North Indian collaborations – renowned Washington DC-born guitarist and composer Joel Harrison now turns his attention to a quintet recording featuring the intriguing front line of trumpet (Cuong Vu) and bassoon (Paul Hanson). Completed by NYC bassist Kermit Driscoll (bass) and the influential eminence of drummer Brian Blade, Harrison has created a genuine improvisers’ record on Spirit House with a conceptual focus very much on the intuitive skills of these specific players.
The richly colored palette of Joel Harrison’s output is influenced by many guitar greats such as Bill Frisell, John Scofield and Jeff Beck, with solid roots in the American rock and country eras of Duane Allman and Danny Gatton. Add to this an unerring passion for cross-pollination of musical cultures and genres, plus a distinctively vocal guitar expressiveness, and it becomes clear why Harrison’s evolving compositional sound worlds continue to engage.
Here, the instrumental line-up frequently deceives, such is the multiplicity of blends, textures and atmospheres achieved. The coupling of trumpet and bassoon, with astutely saturated guitar voicings, creates a remarkably effective ‘horn section’ – as heard in the exuberant "Left Hook" – which is then able to divide, revealing fresh nuances in extemporization. Spacial jazz/blues number "Sacred Love" contrasts markedly with the psychedelic fusion of "An Elephant in Igor’s Yard"; Joel Harrison’s yearning, poetic lyrics inform "Some Thoughts on Kenny Kirkland"; and woodwind flamboyance in "Old Friends" has hints of melancholy and joy combined.
Harrison uses the album title Spirit House as an appropriate metaphor for the musical ‘sacred space’ this accomplished ensemble occupied to magically fashion an hour of inspired music greater than the sum of its parts. Amongst the leader’s ambitions for this album is the hope that its musical accessibility, including a peppering of song-based tracks, might reach still farther than the complexity of some of his previous releases:
“This is a project that mixes heart, soul, intellect and wit to create music that might move in different ways… to open a door inside the listener that helps to experience something which takes them on a journey.”
That sense of discovery is ever present in a quintet debut characterized by innate musicality and the wonderment of unpredictability."
  • LabelWhirlwind
  • UPC5052442006077
Your Price $15.00

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