Why I Believe the Multiplicity cd is unique

Tuesday was the release date for my latest cd, a collaboration with sarodist Anupam Shobhakar. We call our group Multiplicity, and the name of the cd is Leave the Door Open. 

There have been some great responses so far.  However, after reading some of the responses I felt compelled to offer my own insight– as an insider– about what really makes this album unique.  Sure my opinion is biased but this has been a fascinating 3 year journey. Perhaps these thoughts will allow the listener a more clear view of our goals and process. (more…)

Remembering Jim Hall

Guitarist Joel Harrison reflects on a true original

This article appears on the Jazz Times website

Jim Hall was a composer first, guitar player second. I believe he looked at improvising as composition. Many do, of course, but with Jim it was evident all the time. His playing was thoughtful without being cerebral, organized without being restrictive, melodic and yet elliptical and surprising, sometimes romantic but never sentimental. He had a keen sense of humor in his playing and writing, and in his life. (more…)

Composition Blog #5: Using Indian modes to write jazz pieces, and suggest new harmonic pathways.

You Bring the Rain Composition Blog #5

Using Indian modes to write jazz pieces, and suggest new harmonic pathways.

Many years ago I began what could be described as a somewhat random study of Indian music. I never was a serious student as a player, as I never intended to perform classical recitals, but along the way I recognized a gold mine of information. One of the principal ways that I have tried to incorporate what I have learned is through the use of unusual modes. (Note that for our purposes I am using the term “mode” not raga. Why? Because a mode is, as it were, a blank slate, to be used in any way you wish. Ragas develop from modes, and each has its peculiarities, its primary note (vadi), its secondary note (samvadi), and various characteristic phrases that give it definition of form and feeling. A mode, on the other hand, represents raw material. (more…)