Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Joel Harrison, Norah Jones|
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Free Country is a collection of traditional American Country and Appalachian tunes arranged in an unusual, sometimes radical way. These are great tunes; full of pathos, economy, magisterial beauty, sly wisdom and deep ... more »
Free Country is a collection of traditional American Country and Appalachian tunes arranged in an unusual, sometimes radical way. These are great tunes; full of pathos, economy, magisterial beauty, sly wisdom and deep soul. Each song is a story, retold through the lens of Harrison's arranging, composing and the enormous jazz improvisational skill of the players. Joel Harrison's band, along with guests Uri Caine, Norah Jones and others, remain true to the timeless, primal spirit of these moving songs making for a unique journey through America's collective musical memory. 12 tracks packaged in digipak format. ACT Music. 2003.
Glorious, idiosyncratic jazz
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 11/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since I encountered this wildly eclectic original America art form, jazz, in the late seventies, I've been convinced that it provides performers the greatest possibility of personal expression of any musical form. Its intriguing blend of African rhythms, European harmonies, Creole eclectism, and distinctly American brashness often yields music of the most astounding richness and variety. This remarkable, mind-blowing disc seals the deal. From the spacey, spaced out soundscape gracing the opening cut, the Johnny Cash classic, "I Walk the Line," featuring Norah Jones's finest vocal performance on disc, a musical palette somehow skirting the precincts of Wilco, the Cowboy Junkies, Bill Frisell, and Michael Blake's Drift, to the bleak, parched Southwest sonorities of "Lonesome Road Blues," to the chilling, scary destitution somehow buoyed by the slimmest strain of hope shining through "Wafaring Stranger," to the amazingly ironic-free reading of "This Land Is Your Land," the tune scarcely recognizable until nearly the two-minute mark, then weirdly reharmonized and re-rhythmed (?) into a--gasp--waltz!!, to the jazzy, majestic, elegiac reading of "Twelve Gates to the City," a sinuous, blindingly intuitive take on the glorious precariousness of the American experiment insinuates its way into the listerner's consciousness, beguiling, hortatory, and thoroughly provacative.Buoyed by a nimble, fluid, sophisticated band with a 10-foot-wide wacky streak, this music takes on a stunningly idiosyncratic yet thoroughly modern Americana sensibility. David Binney on sax, fast becoming one of my very favorite wind guys, consistently lends a gravitas and entirely apposite melancholly to the proceedings, topped only by the aching poignancy of the leader's wrenching guitar voicings, and the scattered samplings of mournful violin-accordian duets clashing into jaunty Jimi Hendrix/Charles Ives sensibilities. Huh? OK, I'm way over the top here, but what I'm hoping to do is paint some kind of word picture that brands the shiveringly evocative nature of this astonishing music into readers' consciousness.In sum, I daresay this may be the most remarkable disc I've encountered in this year of outstanding jazz releases."
Balsam for my ears
runner | Norway | 02/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had never heard of Joel Harrison, so I bought this CD because Norah Jones sings on two tracks.
But it is the instrumental version of "This Land Is Your Land" that makes this CD for me. What a version this is!
And all tracks on this CD are great.
I don't like jazz music, so this can't be jazz(??)
But who cares, as long as this CD make me happy."