There’s something about the natural build of Sam Harris‘ songs on his new album, Harmony. The pianist who has work with Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Logan Richardson, and others has recently released a trio album of five humble songs, numbered rather than named, that seemingly unfurl rather than play out. Simple quiet ideas, unshowy phrases, build from ostinatos into soulful chants without words. These compositions grow like drizzle advancing into a downpour.
Playing alongside bassist Martin Nevin and drummer Craig Weinrib, Harris plays these songs as a clear statement where the rest of the trio joins in to fully realize these ideas. Each of these songs begins with a concept as if this were a solo piano album but in due time, there are Nevin and Weinrib giving the support and flourish that brings it all home. Each of these five songs, combining for a quick album just over a half hour, follows this same structure, noting the album’s name. Harmony must begin with a sound and action against which it reflects.
This is an album that’s more of a meditation than a rollicking good time. It’s about coastal erosion and Zeno’s paradoxes and sands in an hourglass. It’s an album about how the small things are potentially big things when given enough time and room. It’s a lot that starts from a little, and a lovely collection of songs from a talented pianist.
Harmony, the new album from pianist Sam Harris, is out now.
Sam Harris, piano
Martin Nevin, bass
Craig Weinrib, drums
All compositions by Sam Harris
Recorded at Sear Sound 4-16-18
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Chris Allen
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.