The Wheel

  • Schlüssel: INT3426
  • den Hersteller: Intuition (DE)
  • Herstellerschlüssel: 750447342620
  • Preis: 55,80 zł
  • Produkt empfehlen


Współczesna Muzyka Klasyczna / Kameralistyka
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: plastikowe etui

Multikulti Project prezentuje sześcioczęściową suitę na kwartet smyczkowy i jazzowe combo [kwintet].

Intrygująca fuzja jazzu i kameralistyki, ujęta w formę sześcioczęściowej suity przynosi skrzącą się kompozycyjnymi pomysłami całość, dającą satysfakcję fanom muzyki, o której bez wahania można powiedzieć, że przynależy do XXI wieku, choć zdaję sobie sprawę o umowności granicy rozdzielającej oba stulecia.

Trzeba też dodać, że historia muzyki jazzowej zna przykłady [udane i częściej nieudane] koincydencji muzyki jazzowej i tzw. klasycznej, warto tu przywołać kilku muzyków/kompozytorów: Gunther Schuller, Anthony Braxton czy też nasz rodzimy kompozytor Krzysztof Penderecki z początku lat 70tych.

Joel Harrison najwyżej ceniony był dotąd za pracę aranżacyjną, znane i lubiane są jego płyty z przekładaniem na język jazzu muzyki folkowej [wczesna 'Native Lands' sięgająca do tematów folkowych z wielu regionów świata czy też wydana w 2003 roku płyta 'Free Country', na której znalazły się standardy muzyki country w jazzowych aranżacjach] czy też popularnej ['Harrison on Harrison', na której sięga do kompozycji słynnego beatlesa, George'a Harrisona].

Jego najnowsza płyta 'The Wheel' ujawnia mało znane oblicze muzyka, być może to najciekawsze, kompozytorskie. Oczywiście nie byłoby Harrisona kompozytora gdyby nie jego aranżacyjne doświadczenia, słychać to w kunsztownej instrumentacji i równowadze struktury całej suity, w której pobrzmiewają echa zarówno amerykańskiego folku - americany, spiritualnej muzyki Afryki Zachodniej czy też bluesowego gospel. Nie bez przyczyny płyta ta znalazła się w dziesiątce najlepszych jazzowych nagrań 2008 roku jednego z najbardziej opiniotwórczych jazzowych recenzentów w USA, Troy'a Collinsa.
autor: Piotr Szukała

wybrane recenzje z zagranicznych mediów

The Absolute Sound, DownBeat, by Bill Milkowski

[...] A staggering work that is indescribably beautiful and profoundly stirring; easily one of the most strikingly original jazz-meets-strings hybrids.[...]

Downtown Music Gallery, by Bruce Gallanter
[...] Guitarist, composer and occasional vocalist, Joel Harrison, never ceases to surprise me with the amount and diversity of projects that he is involved in. Over ten or so discs, Joel has continually evolved. The Wheel might just be his best effort yet, it is one this year's best discs.[...]

All About Jazz, by John Kelman
[...] The Wheel's greatest success is its absolute avoidance of division. This isn't 'jazz with strings,' or 'classical music with improvising musicians;' this is fully integrated music that has elements of both but feels like neither. That Harrison has written a suite of music that denies all borders and views music as one large continuum alone deserves attention. The remarkable group of players who can effortlessly navigate this challenging and ground-breaking music only makes it an even more essential listen.[...]

[...] Definitions blur, and suddenly it no longer matters whether Harrison improvises or composes. Whether his playground is jazz, pop, folk, country, or classical it all comes down to this: imagination without limits.[...]

All About Jazz, by Troy Collins
[...] A wildly diverse improviser/composer/arranger with a penchant for unorthodox instrumental combinations, guitarist Joel Harrison has sustained one of the most unpredictable discographies of the last decade with his chimerical mix of jazz, blues, chamber music, African and Indian folk music, Appalachian tunes and old school country songs.
Harrison's suite transcends 'jazz with strings' cliches by virtue of his singular writing and a phenomenal interpretation by seasoned veterans. The Wheel is a major achievement for Harrison and one of the best records of the year, regardless of genre. [...]

Editor's info:
Jazz, they say, lives entirely from the moment. But Duke Ellington already knew that thesis was nonsense and wrote works for eternity. As if in keeping with Goethe's slogan 'To the moment I'd like to say: 'Stay awhile, you are so beautiful," Ellington worked with arrangers who dressed his spontaneous ideas in unfading garments.
Since then exponents of classical and jazz have tried repeatedly to find a logical connection between the two musical directions. Rarely successfully so, since usually things go in one direction or the other, and thus become uninteresting for the adherents of the other side. Guitarist Joel Harrison, of all people, appears to have found the magic formula. On his new album The Wheel, he is not searching for the shortest path to synthesis of two principles of sound but rather emphasizing certain aspects of classical and jazz in order to find new levels of density and interpenetration.
Joel Harrison is a musical jack-of-all-trades, who is just at home with improvised music as with rock and American, Asian, and African ethnic music. Every movement establishes its own emphases and functions as an independent piece, as in jazz. And yet it is only from the totality of all the pieces that a statement emerges to unite then and now, here and there, inside and outside, movement and rigidity. 'On The Wheel, I looked for new paths to combine classical and jazz while also integrating African and American folklore. I specifically chose the two standard ensembles of the string quartet and the jazz quartet. I am certainly not the first to have coupled these two formations, but normally people add a string group to a jazz band. For me, it was the other way around. I began with the strings and then looked for a link to jazz. In that sense, a lot of it is composed music. I wanted to make a really big statement. It is certainly the most serious project I have ever done.'
Charles Ives meets Henry Mancini? Hank Williams and Ali Farka Touré chatting with John Coltrane? Sounds catchy, but it is not that easy, for in Joel Harrison's reflective personality there are too many influences traveling on different paths to limit things to such meeting points. Until now, the guitarist has employed unusual alliances between jazz and traditional song formats. For The Wheel, however, he has taken his lead from Gunter Schuller. In the 1950s, Schuller invented the so-called Third Stream and created elaborate syntheses of jazz and classical that were way ahead of their time. In contrast to Schuller, however, Harrison tries to transport his complex ideas in the simplest way possible. His music has both gravity and indescribable legerity. The guitarist offers some insight into his bag of tricks. 'You have to find the right balance. For example, you have to create a dramaturgy for a solo, so it doesn't seem to come out of nowhere. When you compose, everything is about the form. What surroundings does a solo need in order for it to make sense? How long can it go on without destroying the music? If there had been too many solos, it would have exceeded the bounds of The Wheel. There's a little solo in each movement, with changing emotional atmospheres. Nevertheless, there has to be a connection among all the aspects within a movement.'
It is no secret that jazz musicians and performers of classical music have different, often contradictory ideas about making music. Harrison took precautions not to run into the double-edged sword of never-ending cultural battles. 'I specifically chose both string players I knew understood the aesthetics of jazz and jazz musicians who felt at home in classical. This mutual understanding is important, so that such a work still sounds organic. We even recorded all of it at the same time. It remained a challenge anyway. But at least it was still possible.'
With the elegance of The Wheel, Joel Harrison has made a monumental debut as a composer of large-scale music. Unlike the music of the Third Stream, this music has no program whatsoever. Its sounds are reminiscent of a river that makes its own bed on dry land. The details are full of surprises, as when the pizzicato of the strings recalls the plunking of a banjo from the Ozark Mountains. The connections to jazz are diverse, but the point is to open up new spaces and forms for an art form that has become temporarily fatigued. That is a subject about which Joel Harrison, who is ordinarily so restrained, can get worked up. 'For some musicians it may be enough to be perceived as jazz musicians, but for me that was never enough. I cannot express everything I want to express in jazz. Most record companies want you to make the same album ten times in a row, so that the public's expectations are satisfied. But I find that ridiculous. The great composers always expanded their horizons and realized different kinds of projects. Some were more complex, others simple. How many different forms did Stravinsky make his own? For how many different kinds of ensembles did he write? How often did he change his style? We have to find ways to bring together the various qualities of which we are constituted.'
The Wheel is something round. A piece of music that is by no means revolutionary in terms of its basic elements. Harrison is light years away from being in the avant-garde. But on well-trodden paths he manages to make his way to new galaxies. That makes his music not only exciting and visionary but also agreeable and listenable in almost any stage of life.

pitchforkmedia.com; rating: 7.6
[...] Following three albums focusing more heavily on his skills as an interpreter and performer, guitarist Joel Harrison reminded those aware of him prior to Free Country (ACT, 2003) that his compositional acumen remained sharp with Harbor (HighNote, 2007). The Wheel heads for more ambitious territory 38-minute, five-movement suite for jazz quintet and string quartet that doesn't just blur the line between musical styles, but erases it entirely.

Blending interpretive classical constructs with improvisation isn't new; plenty of artists, most notably Gunther Schuller and his development of Third Stream Music, have explored the juncture. But a dividing line has always existed between classical musicians, whose performance and reading skills made them capable of navigating long form works while remaining weak on the improvisational side, and jazz players who were improv-ready but not always the best readers, making complex compositions a challenge.
More impressive still is Harrison's meshing of classical and jazz tonalities with African rhythms on 'Blues Circle,' which ultimately opens up for a solo from trumpeter Ralph Alessi that, in its sheer invention and construction, highlights why he's one of today's most undervalued players. One of the few places where the music swings in a conventional fashion, it evolves into a richer form-based opportunity for altoist David Binney who, freed from the rigors of his own detailed (and superb) writing, focuses solely on the playing and delivers a solo of equal strength and imagination. 'Rising,' the longest, most impressive and challenging movement, is a masterful combination of complex counterpoint, polyrhythm and collective improvisation, all bound together with a form so deep that it takes multiple listens before its many layers are truly revealed.

Harrison remains largely in a support role throughout, though his searing slide solo on the post-suite closer, 'In Memoriam: Dana Brayton,' lifts the piece from its elegiac intro to a more passionate and propulsive place. [...]
By John Kelman

Joel Harrison: composer, guitar
Todd Reynolds: violin
Chris Howes: violin
Caleb Burhans: viola
Wenty Sutter: cello
David Binney: alto saxophone
Ralph Alessi: trumpet, flugelhorn
Lindsey Horner: bass
Dan Weiss: drums

1. The Wheel: American Farewell
2. Blues Circle
3. Rising
4. We Have Been the Victims of a Broken Promise
5. Ceaseless Motion (Watch the future Roll By)
6. In Memoriam: Dana Brayton

wydano: 2008-05-16
more info: www.intuition-music.com
more info2: www.joelharrison.com

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