Composer/Guitarist Joel Harrison Negotiates Contrasting Textures and Genres on his Stunning New All-Star Septet Album
Featuring Donny McCaslin, Gary Versace, Christian Howes, Dana Leong, Stephan Crump & Clarence Penn
Joel Harrison’s latest CD, Search, finds the critically acclaimed composer/guitarist challenging himself compositionally, using extended forms and techniques borrowed from many of his favorite classical composers. The end result transcends style and genre – the writing is stunning, and cements Harrison as one of the most important contemporary composers of the day.
The compositions flow seamlessly, instantly immersing the listener in a coherent, rich, dynamic sound world. Pieces such as “Grass Valley and Beyond” and “The Beauty of Failure” have rich, memorable melodies that stick with the listener long after the album ends. Complex rhythmic motion is a hallmark of the multi-layered, emotionally wrenching “A Magnificent Death,” which Harrison describes as the centerpiece of the record. This 15-minute mini-epic tells the story of a close friend who died in 2009. Continue reading