Although best known for having written and played guitar on Norah Jones' breakout hit "Don't Know Why" (for which he won the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year), Jesse Harris is an accomplished producer and solo artist in his own right. He has released 1...
Although best known for having written and played guitar on Norah Jones' breakout hit "Don't Know Why" (for which he won the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year), Jesse Harris is an accomplished producer and solo artist in his own right. He has released 10 albums, including his latest releases "Through The Night" and "Cosmo" (an all-instrumental recording) and has toured worldwide. His songs have been covered by numerous great singers, such as Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Solomon Burke, Emmylou Harris, and many others.
"Through The Night"
Secret Sun Recordings / Downtown Music
It could be said that Jesse Harris' new album Through The Night – his ninth full-length release – harkens back in spirit and tone to one of his earlier albums, 2001's Crooked Lines, a home-recorded effort made before the hoopla of mainstream attention and a 2003 major label debut on Verve / Universal. Through The Night, however, is anything but a home recording; co-produced, recorded and mixed in 14 straight days by the legendary Terry Manning at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas, it features a quartet of Bill Dobrow (Martha Wainwright, Sean Lennon) on drums, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, David Byrne, Forro In The Dark) on percussion, Guilherme Monteiro (Bebel Gilberto, Forro In The Dark) on bass, and Jesse Harris on electric and acoustic guitar and, for the first time, piano, wurlitzer and Hammond B3 organ.
Through The Night is not an accidental title: "The songs depict dreams, romance, and mystery against the backdrop of moon, stars, and sometimes chaos," Harris says. "I wanted to explore the theme of night in different scenarios, from peaceful Rousseau-esque fantasies to sleepless nights of obsession."
From the opening rock number "Put It Out Of Your Mind" to the Caetano Veloso-influenced "Pixote" to the folkish "Gone Without A Sound," the 14 tracks on Through The Night compel the listener across a wide range of musical styles while maintaining a thematic cohesion of sound and text.
Cosmo is Jesse Harris' first full length instrumental album, but it is not his first time recording instrumental music. Two of Jesse's previous albums, Watching The Sky and Mineral, contain two instrumentals each, and Harris also composed the score for the 2007 Ethan Hawke film, the Hottest State. "Making an album of all instrumentals is something I've wanted to do for a long time, but I never felt I had the proper scenario to justify it, until this past Fall of '09 when John Zorn coincidentally invited me to make an album for Tzadik. That gave me the push I needed." Half of the album's 12 tracks are new instrumental compositions and half are versions of previously recorded Harris songs. "I wanted the sound to be warm and mellow, with brass and organ, and of course I had to have Kenny Wollesen, my old friend, behind the drum kit and on vibes and marimba." Other guests on Cosmo include Rob Burger, CJ Camerieri, Eivind Opsvik, Tony Scherr, and Doug Wieselman.
Blending folk, soul, Brazilian and rock music, Cosmo is instrumental pop in the classic tradition of Burt Bacharach... with Harris' indelible stamp.