Frank Harrison Trio – Sideways
(Linus Records LDCD01. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Pianist Frank Harrison is probably most often heard in Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, in which he plays both acoustic and electric instruments, but leading his own trio (as documented by Basho on the impressive 2006 album, First Light) he plays only the former, alongside bassist Davide Petrocca – who has replaced Aidan O’Donnell from First Light – and drummer Stephen Keogh.
It’s worth stressing at the outset that this is very much a trio outing, Harrison’s mellifluous, lyrical playing (tellingly leavened by vigorous, occasionally even tumultuous power where appropriate) interacting impeccably with the sonorous, full-toned Petrocca and the dexterous Keogh (the latter’s contribution to a band perfectly summed up by US saxophonist Charles McPherson: ‘He’s not just a time keeper, but is a rhythmic co-creator as well’).
This said, however, it is Harrison, at once lucid and elegant, but with an ability to imbue everything he plays with affecting tension, frequently released in sparkling, intense runs, who sets the tone of both the standards (‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘How Long Has This Been Going On’, ‘You and the Night and the Music’) and originals (not to mention an intriguing closer, the traditional ‘Riddle Song’) on this absorbing and musicianly album, the music from which can be heard on a UK trio tour, to take place in February 2012.
3 Derby Jazz
4 Cheltenham Jazz Club
5 Herts Jazz Welwyn Garden City
6 Jazz Hastings
8 PIZZA EXPRESS DEAN STREEET
9 Watermill Jazz Dorking
10 Fleece Jazz, Leavenheath, Colchester
17 Wakefield Jazz Club
29 St Michael at the North Gate Oxford