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Ten Play Ten

Artist: Paul Harrison

Date of Release: 01/12/2013

Catalogue no: 2205

Label: Harriphonic

Price: £10

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

I Got Rhythm

4.13

2

 

Luiza

4.28

3

 

Be My Love

4.44

4

 

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody

4.32

5

 

If I Loved You / My Funny Valentine

5.46

6

 

The Summer Knows

6.06

7

 

Birthday Tango (For Nic)

1.49

8

 

Every Time We Say Goodbye

6.55

9

 

A Foggy Day

6.42

10

 

Dream

2.52

 

 

 

 

Award winning British jazz pianist Paul Harrison has chosen ten classic standard tunes for his first solo album. A flowing set of surprising arrangements skilfully played and beautifully recorded.

Paul Harrison has performed with David Liebman, Joe Locke and Chris Potter, along with his own imaginative projects Breach and Trianglehead. Here he makes his long awaited debut as a solo pianist, in a surprising yet accessible set of great melodies from the pens of Gershwin, Jobim, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin and others.

www.paulharrison.info

 

Reviews

 

17/01/2014 Derek Ansell

Harrison’s album is beautifully recorded, the sound of the piano coming alive in my living room. He begins his solo recital with a lively, upbeat I Got Rhythm, the starting point for most swingers, solo or otherwise. If I Loved You is given a very personal treatment, as he stabs out staccato chords at a very slow tempo indeed. This piece segues into My Funny Valentine which receives a similar treatment. Paul’s notes are gentle, lyrical and like peals from a soft bell on this track. His touch is ultra light on ballads and in particular, a gentle tone with a slight swagger on The Summer Knows where he manages to ring the changes again, successfully, producing a version of this song unlike any other I have heard. Gershwin’s A Foggy Day is given the most unusual performance on the disc, played abstract in the introduction, the pianist then moves into an out of tempo reading of the melody before settling down to improvising on the line in a more traditional manner.

It is difficult to sustain interest for over forty eight minutes as a solo performer even if piano is the most likely instrument to bring success. Harrison’s variety of pace, tempo and general approach to the material has been well thought out prior to this recital and the end result is a solo piano disc containing improvised lines, invention and clever programming. Some electronic effects have been added to a few tracks but are not unduly distracting. If you are heavily into piano jazz and/or good solo recitals, this is one to consider.

 

17/12/2013 Lance Liddell, Bebop Spoken Here

Manchester born Harrison's first solo CD is an impressive take on 10 of his favourite standards. Using all ten fingers - hence the title - and, I guess, a few toes as well judging by some of the electronic devices used .What is it with today's players and their obsession for digital delays and other forms of electronic sorcery?
However, despite having made public my Luddite tendencies I must confess that on this disc they are used sparingly and quite effectively so maybe I may yet arrive in the 21st century.
Harrison is well worth checking out. His playing is reflective and exploratory. He's not a grandiose, flamboyant - keep the piano tuner on standby - style player although he can unleash the technique when the situation demands it. To my ears he conveys the feel of Tristano, Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett in a subdued mood.
Timing is the keynote here. Without the straitjacket of bass or drums, the pianist stretches the melody every which way - including loose. Particularly loose! He delves deep into his bag of chords to create a rich harmonic texture often surprising but never "wrong".
A Foggy Day has some strange things happening before Harrison emerges from the mist with an almost Bachian reading of the tune and a Louissier-like improvisation.
I Got Rhythm; Louiza; Be My Love; A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; If I Loved You/My Funny Valentine; The Summer Knows; Birthday Tango (For Nic); Every Time We Say Goodbye; A Foggy Day; Dream.
A choice selection of tunes performed in an original manner (Birthday Tango is an original by Harrison).
I'd like to tell you more but, like 9 out of 10 CDs these days, the notes are indecipherable unless you've got 20-20 vision, glasses with Jodrell Bank lens' and infra-red, ultra violet lighting. You'd stand a better chance if the notes were in Braille!
Fortunately, in this case, the music speaks for itself.

 

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