Veteran Stan Harrison: Suddenly "Emerging Artist"


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Stan Harrison
He can “Make the Saxophone Come Alive with Total Energy, Roar with Passion..."

“Harrison cites John Coltrane as an inspiration, but his own sax work can be heard on many influential rock recordings of recent decades..."

Rock/jazz saxophonist Stan Harrison, a seasoned veteran who has performed with and/or appeared on albums by some of music's most respected bands/singers (including David Bowie, Talking Heads, Radiohead, Duran Duran, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, They Might Be Giants, and more...) finds himself in the fascinating position of being embraced an 'emerging' artist.

His new CD 'The Optimist' is a hybrid of jazz, classical, pop and World musics. The album's ten original songs showcase Harrison's sax, as well as the vocal talents of legendary artists, including Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire,) Phoebe Snow, Andy Vargas (Santana,) Najma Akhtar, and more. Harrison's long-time colleague Gerard McMann produced the upbeat CD.

Last month, as Harrison toured the U.S. with They Might Be Giants and Duran Duran, local press began to take a closer look at this exceptional musician, one who is able to combine the rich experiences of his storied career with the passion and vitality of a relative newcomer.

The Cincinnati Enquirer's CIN Weekly Entertainment Section described him as a “legendary saxophone player," and commented: “As a successful studio and touring musician, Harrison could easily sit back and enjoy a career of adding to other people's musical creations. But what drives Harrison to play iconic parts in songs by the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead also drives him to write and record his own songs. The result is the new album, The Optimist, a collection of eclectic tunes - some instrumental, some with vocals - that display a...full musical range."

A quick visit to Harrison's 'Credits Page' on ALLMUSIC speaks volumes about his extraordinary track record: http://wm06.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll? p=amg&searchlink=STAN|HARRISON&sql=11:anfexqe5ldde~T4

A recent concert date in Philadelphia was preceded by an interview profile in the community newspaper syndicate PhillyBurbs:

Stan Harrison: The PhillyBurbs Profile

PhillyBurbs, By DAVE MCGURGAN with ROBYN MOORE, 11/21/07

Who: Stan Harrison, New York-based rock/jazz saxophonist.

Qualifications: Seasoned music veteran who can make the saxophone come alive. It's an absolutely incredible thing for a musician to touch so many people with total energy, roar with passion and glide like a bird drifting through the air.

About his music: “I hope people are drawn in by the sound I get out of my sax, itself. It's an obsession for me."

Has played with: Radiohead, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble, Serge Gainsbourg, Talking Heads and The Borneo Horns, to name a few.

Gigging in Philly: Performing live with They Might Be Giants on Saturday, November 24 at the Fillmore.

His latest project: A new CD called 'The Optimist' which is a hybrid of jazz, classical pop and neo-world styles.

Key tracks: The album's title track features a stunning vocal by Najma Akhtar sung in English and Urdu. “What About Peace of Mind?" showcases Philip Bailey's unique voice while “Would I Ever Know?" spotlights a performance by vocal legend Phoebe Snow.

Stan Harrison on:

Songwriting: “I wrote entire or parts of over 50 pieces before settling on the ten that are on 'The Optimist,'" says Harrison. “You sort of have to have it in you that [the material will come to you]. That's not to say I sit around waiting, but sometimes writing is more of an effort than other times. No matter what, it's something I enjoy tremendously. And I get completely lost in it when I'm doing it."

Musical inspirations: “I love many periods of John Coltrane's playing - even during his 'Kind Of Blue' and 'My Favorite Things' eras. I absolutely love Coltrane. It's phenomenal if you think all the people he influenced both listeners and professional players as well."

Band he's digging lately: “In terms of rock and roll bands I am a tremendous White Stripes fan. I sort neglected the hype that went around for a couple years. Then I bought the record called 'Elephant,' listened to it and I thought that Jack White was one of the most amazing guitar players I ever heard. I completely became a fan in like ten seconds."

Harrison was also featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's popular 'Who's Spinning What' column, in which he praises The White Stripes' 'Icky Thump' as his current, favorite 'spin'...

Who's spinning what: Saxophonist Stan Harrison Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Tina Maples, 11/8/07

Who: Saxophonist Stan Harrison, in They Might Be Giants' horn section tonight at Turner Hall Ballroom

What he's listening to: “Icky Thump" by the White Stripes.

Why he likes it: “Jack White is 100% musician, no filler, and he communicates as a writer and guitar player like few others."

Also likes: Radiohead's “In Rainbows"; Jim Beard's “Lost at the Carnival"; Jean Sibelius' “Symphony No. 5" More Stan Harrison tour dates with They Might Be Giants will be announced soon.

This story appears courtesy of Seth Cohen PR.
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