Angel Band: Free Country, Vol. 3 Joel Harrison
- 1America the Beautiful06:26
- 2Jerusalem Ridge05:12
- 3Ring of Fire04:27
- 4900 Miles05:35
- 5We Shall Rise05:40
- 6Angel Band09:26
- 7My Epitaph03:51
- 8Osage Stomp04:01
- 9Wichita Lineman05:59
- 10Go Rest High on That Mountain04:47
- 11Lost Indian04:32
- 12Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain03:18
Info for Angel Band: Free Country, Vol. 3
My goal on the latest Free Country recording is again to arrange country and Appalachian music for a jazz group in new and unusual ways. I’m conscious of both moving forward and staying true to the elemental soul of the songs, where old stories are told by modern, protean players. Or as a friend once put it, “Downtown meets the heartland.” Whether sung straight, or approached as improvisational vehicles, I find endless currency in this material.
An angel is defined as an attendant and benevolent spirit. Perhaps we musicians are entrusted to act as such. This is, of course, a serious task, and yet the beauty of these tunes is they encourage us not just to meditate and grieve but also to laugh and dance.
Joel Harrison, guitar, dobro, 6 string banjo, National Steel, voice
David Binney, saxophone
Jon Cowherd, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Wurlitzer
Uri Caine, piano, Fender Rhodes
Chris Tordini, double bass
Stephan Crump, double bass
Brian Blade, drums
Allison Miller, drums
Darol Anger, violin
Christian Howes, violin
Hank Roberts, cello
Nels Cline, guitar
Alecia Chakour, voice
Everett Bradley, voice
Theo Bleckmann, voice
Nicki Logan, voice
Brian Blade, voice
is one of the first artists to have bridged the worlds of jazz, classical, Americana, and traditions from India and Africa. Born in Washington D.C. the guitarist, composer, arranger, lyricist, vocalist and songwriter began his search for new sounds in the early 1980’s with stints in Boston and the Bay Area. Named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, Harrison has long been recognized as a risk taker, someone who never stands still. He has blossomed from mentorships with Joan Tower, Ali Akbar Khan, W.A. Mathieu, and Charlie Banacos into one of the most respected artists of his generation. The core of his multifarious projects is heart, soul, and surprise. What matters most to this composer is moving the listener.
Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, and has received support and awards from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, NYSCA, New Music USA, and the Jerome Foundation. He has released 17 cds since 1995 as a leader, and has appeared high up on the “Rising Star” Downbeat Magazine poll for many years.
Harrison has composed a number of non-improvised works as well, whether for orchestra, string quartet, solo cello, or percussion, including the PASIC award-winning marimba solo Fear of Silence. He is the founder and administrator of the Alternative Guitar Summit, a yearly festival devoted to new and unusual guitar music. Pat Metheny called the Summit “one of the most interesting and distinguished forums for guitar on the planet.”
Notable releases include Free Country feat. Norah Jones and David Binney, Infinite Possibility (jazz orchestra), String Choir– Music of Paul Motian, , and Search feat. Donny McCaslin. Harrison’s cds include some of the greatest musicians alive whether on strings, bassoon, saxophones, brass, or percussion. The New York Times called him “protean” and “brilliant, ” while the New Orleans Times Picayune said “Along with Scofield, Metheny, and Frisell Harrison has created a new blueprint for jazz.”
The latest release, due in May on Whirlwind recordings, is a stunning collection of original songs and lyrics entitled The Other River. The band includes Glenn Patscha (Roseanne Cash, Marc Cohen), and Byron Isaacs (The Lumineers). The results stream through multiple American traditions, by turns gorgeous, stark, psychedelic and bluesy, buoyant and funny, moody and surreal.
This album contains no booklet.