Joel Harrison

Harrison on Harrison

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Harrison on Harrison finds jazz guitarist Joel Harrison investigating the music of rock icon George Harrison. Featuring a stellar ensemble including, among others, saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Uri Caine and drummer Dan Weiss, Harrison has crafted an adventurous and forward-thinking album that celebrates not only the former Beatle's superb songcraft, but also his sense of musical exploration. That exploration found George Harrison delving into everything from British folk music to gospel, psychedelic rock and ultimately Indian music. Joel Harrison fully embraces such eclecticism here, bringing all these styles to bear on tracks like "Within You Without You" (off the Beatles' 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), expanding the raga-psych elements of the original into a post-bop wilderness of angular improvisation. Similarly, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" goes from a woozily funky Indian beat on the main verse, to a drunken soft-rock bridge that sounds something like guitarist Adrian Belew covering Burt Bacharach. Also exciting is "Taxman," which Harrison turns into an off-kilter boogaloo on the main theme, only to morph into a driving and expansive modal exercise for the solos. Harrison on Harrison is an inspired, engaging and superbly executed tribute to a true music original.

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