LP5404 Vinyl - Shipped August 1, 2018 Download
LP5404 Vinyl - Shipped August 1, 2018 Download
Jazz in Europe - Feb 20, 2018
reviewer Andrew Read
Skylines features ten original compositions all penned by Evan Harris and sees him in the company of Will Vinson: alto saxophone, Sean Wayland: piano, Des White: double bass and Jochen Rueckert on drums. The album was recorded at Systems Two Studios’ in Brooklyn by multi-Grammy winning engineer Mike Marciano and produced by pianist Frank Kimbrough.
The thing that first struck me when listening to the album was the level of musical maturity displayed by a musician that has been on this earth for less than a quarter of a century. In the press release for the album, producer Frank Kimbrough stated “Attending the sessions that yielded this music was a joy – I came with the intention of providing assistance and guidance, but little was needed. There was a palpable sense of togetherness among the musicians, and the stress-free environment they created allowed yours truly to sit back in the control room with my arms folded across my chest, and a smile on my face. I was witnessing dreams become a reality.”When listening to the final product I could not agree more.
The album opens with “Gunderman”, Based loosely around a 5/4 motive this track has an easy and fresh feel. The theme is taken by both horns with Will Vinson on Alto taking the first solo. Evan follows taking a different approach playing longer lines. I enjoyed the juxtaposition in styles.
The Album continues with the a more agitated feel in “Inertia” allowing far more room for harmonic exploration. Catalyst, is a lilting 6/8 piece allowing pianist and fellow expat Sean Wayland to solo. I particularly enjoyed “Equilibrium”, the only track on the album couched in a straight four swing feel.
The three tracks that form the album title are “Skyline At Sunrise”, “Skyline At Midday’ and ‘Skyline At Sunset” are an interesting set. Placed strategically in the track listing, these tracks are far more open and less structured than the other tracks presented on the album. As the titles suggest these tracks are quite evocative, conjuring visions of the city at Sunrise, the “Hustle and Bustle” of the city at Midday and the surreal expectations of the city at night. These three tracks are without doubt one of the highlights of this album.
This album has a lot to absorb. On the surface the album is rather cinematic in feel and takes the listener through a number of moods however the deeper you delve the more complex the music becomes. This is the sign of a great album that will appeal to a wide audience. Skylines is a strong release from a musician that we will no doubt hearing a great deal more from in the coming years. Highly recommended.
Debut album ‘Skylines’ from NY based Australian saxophonist Evan Harris, documents a deeply personal journey by a young saxophonist at the top of his game trying to break into the toughest music scene in the world, New York City. The haunting yet uplifting melodies and incredible improvisations from this cast of truly international heavyweights, gives the listener an insight into the exciting future of Australian Jazz by a dynamic musician making waves abroad.
Beautifully recorded at ‘Systems Two Studios’ in Brooklyn by multi-Grammy winning engineer Mike Marciano at 96k hTz, Evan's Freshman release gives us a glimpse at the promising future of jazz.
Evan Harris (tenor saxophone)
Will Vinson (alto saxophone)
Sean Wayland (piano)
Des White (contrabass)
Jochen Rueckert (drums & cymbals)
Words about music - reviewer John Hardaker
Australian-in-New-York, tenor saxophonist and composer Evan Harris has given us a day in the life of the Big Apple with his debut album, Skylines.
Whether intended or not, these ten tracks seem all of a piece – short stories of NYC tied together by the three ‘Skyline’ tunes.
‘Skyline at Sunrise’ is vividly evocative as tone poetry, painting the sun rising over the jagged line of the city’s skyscrapers; the improvisations arc up and up until they hit a unison note at the top of the rise. The sun is out.
‘Skyline at Midday’ is a hard-swinging hustle, all elbows and shove, like midtown at noon. The city surges in the rhythm. Altoist Will Vinson‘s Parkeresque solo is wonderfully nimble, threading in and out of the groove. The other Australian-in-New-York, the ubiquitous Sean Wayland plays Bud Powell to Vinson’s Yardbird with sparkling invention. Always a joy to hear Mr Wayland speak.
Vinson and Wayland are perfectly matched for Harris’s session, as are the rhythm section of Des White on bass and drummer Jochen Rueckert; perfectly matched to each other and perfectly matched to the music. Harris’s smart tunes and arrangements range from hard-bop (‘Equilibrium’), through sinewy percussion grooves such as ‘Inertia’, across to bop-bossa (‘Spring Song’ – which has some exquisite writing for unison tenor and alto; always a lovely pairing) and the band he has selected breathe life and great beauty into them all.
‘Resignation”s spry feel belies the title with some sharp horn writing. Harris’s solo here is particularly inspired, his lines working against each other and switching back and forth within their own logic. His playing seems to inspire Vinson to great things – his solo here is a highlight – full of invention and seeking and finding, all with the joy that is particularly at the heart of the alto’s tone.
The final ‘Skyline’ piece, ‘Skyline at Sunset’ evokes the city-that-never-sleeps going to sleep, with Wayland’s piano all stardust and skyscraper lights and the horns painting in indigo and deep mauves. Harris’ writing surprises in its breadth. Whether impressionistic, or ballad-gentle, or bop-tight, he has complete control over the shape and intent of these pieces.
To say Skylines is an impressive debut – whilst being true – can also sound patronising, suggesting Harris has a way to go. Don’t we all. But he is leaps ahead already and his promise is as exciting and unpredictable as the city he celebrates on Skylines.