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Infinite Possibility

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The title of composer and guitarist Joel Harrison's Infinite Possibility is an apt one. On the one level, in his first exercise writing for an unconventional jazz big band -- this one includes French horn, English horn, vibraphone, and marimba -- the tonal, textural, and harmonic options are almost endless. On the other, when presented with such a bounty, making the right choices can be intimidating or frustrating. This six-part suite, conducted by JC Sanford, makes use of numerous American musical forms, though they all end up as jazz. "As We Gather All Around Her," with vocals by Everett Bradley, comes from an Appalachian hymn Harrison heard the Stanley Brothers play. It ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The title of composer and guitarist Joel Harrison's Infinite Possibility is an apt one. On the one level, in his first exercise writing for an unconventional jazz big band -- this one includes French horn, English horn, vibraphone, and marimba -- the tonal, textural, and harmonic options are almost endless. On the other, when presented with such a bounty, making the right choices can be intimidating or frustrating. This six-part suite, conducted by JC Sanford, makes use of numerous American musical forms, though they all end up as jazz. "As We Gather All Around Her," with vocals by Everett Bradley, comes from an Appalachian hymn Harrison heard the Stanley Brothers play. It uses country gospel as a way of creating a foundation for various tonal palettes to develop by brass and woodwinds; the interplay is specific and bright before it scales itself back. Along the way there are terrific solos by saxophonist Donny McCaslin and pianist Daniel Kelly. "Dockery Farms" commences with a sparse frame, very deliberate in its use of gospel and blues motifs. Before long, however, by way of Harrison using electric slide guitar, it begins to wail, stomping as his six-string goes right at the choppy vamp-driven horns. Another high point in the track is the conversation by muted brass instruments and Curtis Fowlkes' trombone solo. The freight train of dissonance and dynamic in "The Overwhelming Infinity of Possibility" illustrates precisely the numerous directions Harrison allowed his muse to direct him, through blues, 20th century classical music, and Miles Davis from Gil Evans through his second quintet through Bitches Brew. If this reads like it doesn't or shouldn't work, fine -- but it does marvelously, and is the most compelling track here; the dialogue between brass and woodwind sections is knotty, defiant, quizzical, and bold. While "Highway" doesn't exactly swing after its tender opening section, it implies it through its use of the blues idiom. In its quieter moments the extrapolation harmonies between Harrison and the horns are elegant, beautiful. The cut also features fine solos by trombonist Alan Ferber and saxophonist Rob Scheps. Closer "Blue Lake Morning" with its four distinct phases -- and a moving solo by McCaslin -- is breathtaking in its range of musical diversity. Infinite Possibility may a personal milestone for Harrison -- an ambition realized. But for jazz listeners, it is a stellar exercise in musical imagination and vision.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/18/2013
  • Label: Sunnyside Communicat
  • UPC: 016728136624
  • Catalog Number: 1366
  • Sales rank: 201,747

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joel Harrison 19 Primary Artist
Ned Rothenberg Flute, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, B-Flat Clarinet
Everett Bradley Vocals
Joseph Daley Tuba, Euphonium
Kermit Driscoll Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Curtis Fowlkes Trombone
Taylor Haskins Trumpet
Andy Laster Baritone Saxophone
Rob Scheps Flute, Tenor Saxophone, B-Flat Clarinet
Donny McCaslin Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Michel Gentile Flute
Jacob Garchik Trombone
Rob Garcia Drums
Ben Kono Flute, English Horn, Oboe, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone
Alan Ferber Trombone
Justin Mullens Trumpet
Ben Wendel Tenor Saxophone
Seneca Black Trumpet
Daniel Kelly Piano, Keyboards
Laila Biali Vocals
Ben Stapp Tuba
JC Sanford Conductor
James Shipp Marimbas, Hand Percussion
Joel Harrison Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Christopher Drukker Graphic Design
Liberty Ellman Mastering
Mike Marciano Engineer
Rothenberg Composer
The Mullens Composer
Joel Harrison Liner Notes
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