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Free Country

Joel Harrison

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Album Review

This is certainly an intriguing release. Guitarist Joel Harrison recorded a dozen songs associated with country music, some of them quite traditional, but he recast them in surprising ways, making the CD title of Free Country fit quite well. Sometimes his steel guitar pays respect to the melodies and at other times he freaks out a bit on his electric guitar. None of the vocalists are that outstanding, and an instrumental "This Land Is Your Land" receives a surprisingly downbeat rendition. Norah Jones sings "I Walk The Line" and "Tennessee Waltz" quite straight, showing that she is more comfortable in country music than in jazz, but making one wonder how she created such a big stir in 2003. However, Dave Binney's alto playing is a major asset on some of the more adventurous interpretations, and violinist Rob Thomas, pianist Uri Caine, and Tony Cedras on accordion add to the changing atmospheres of this strange but consistently colorful set. Well worth checking out for listeners with extremely open minds.

Biography

Born: July 27, 1957 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In 1999 guitarist/composer/singer/arranger Joel Harrison relocated to New York City from the West Coast, where the multi-talented musician spent years leading various groups and ensembles, as well as freelancing as a much in-demand session player around the San Francisco area. His electrifying blend of creative jazz, modern classical, and ethnic fusion has spawned seven critically lauded albums (3+3=7, Range of Motion, Transience, Free Country, So Long 2nd Street, Harrison on Harrison, Harbor, Passing...
Full Bio
Free Country, Joel Harrison
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Jun 17, 2003

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