The music of Joel Harrison stubbornly defies categorizing, though many have tried. From haunting psychedelia to rollicking Afro-Appalachian grooves; from the complex poly-everything of Charles Ives to the deceptively simple re-imagining of American folk ballads, Joel Harrison is perhaps the most imaginative, inventive and inclusive artist in contemporary jazz music. Angel Band is the third in his acclaimed Free Country series of projects and, like its predecessors, features a unique mix of jazz interpretations of Americana, deeply felt arrangements of songs by iconic artists such as Olabelle Reed, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe. Many long time allies from the first two records reappear here, including saxophonist David Binney, bassist Stephan Crump, and pianist Uri Caine whose pianism ranges from pointillistic to pugilistic. But for all the considerable talents of the side artists this is Harrison's show. As today's emaciated, blog-fed music scene staggers around looking for the newest trend Harrison continues to cross and combine languages in order to challenge pre-conceived notions of "how it should go," and find new frontiers in familiar music.
JOEL HARRISON: Guitar, dobro, banjo, National Steel Guitar, voice • David Binney: Alto Saxophone • Jon Cowherd: Piano, Hammond • Uri Caine: Piano, Fender Rhodes • Chris Tordini, Stephan Crump: Bass • Brian Blade, Allison Miller: Drums • with Theo Bleckmann, Christian Howes, Nels Cline and others
TRACKS: America The Beautiful • Jerusalem Ridge • Ring of Fire • 900 Miles • We Shall Rise • Angel Band • My Epitaph • Osage Stomp • Wichita Lineman • Go Rest High on That Mountain • Lost Indian • Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain
We Shall Rise
Ring of Fire
America the Beautiful