Master Drummer Jason Harnell Breaks New Ground with Experimental Solo Drum CD, "Total Harnage"

Total Harnage-cover (low res)
Total Harnage-cover (low res)
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LOS ANGELES - Sept. 27, 2019 - PRLog -- When JASON HARNELL was six years old, his father, Grammy winning composer and arranger Joe Harnell, invited Louie Bellson to their house to hear the budding prodigy play. After playing a 15-minute solo, the legendary drummer handed the sticks to Jason and said, "Your turn." When Jason finished, an impressed Bellson gave the boy his drum set – replacing the toy kits he had used up till that point. As a world-renowned jazz drummer, educator, composer and bandleader ensembling with countless greats over a 30-plus year career, Jason has played thousands of soul-transporting solos since. Yet he's never jammed as cleverly, adventurously and "out there" as he does on a new recording and multi-media experience whose title speaks to its intricate, fascinating craft as much as his massive personality: TOTAL HARNAGE.

Taking the traditional concept of a "drum solo" to unprecedented, otherworldly levels, the 12 track/12 video clip collection finds the multi-talented musician unleashed from all traditional, contemporary and jazz fusion configurations of his past and embracing a fresh, experimental and groundbreaking future for the art of drumming and the possibilities of percussion.

Recorded at fBoo Music in Burbank, TOTAL HARNAGE is a fanciful, joyfully schizophrenic gathering of his favorite pieces from the wealth of material Jason amassed for his solo gigs. He performed two of them at his very first show – "Sara Song," a soulful and dreamy homage to his wife and best friend of over 31 years (since high school!), featuring Jason's passionate vocals and subtle cymbal and drums; and "Bloom," a trippy and hypnotic flow of atmospheric coolness, with the drummer creating highs, lows and offbeat patterns over beautiful textures and ambient soundscapes of the Brian Eno co-created audiovisual app Bloom.

True to its title, the opening track "Trance" – originally written for GO SHLOMO!, Jason's duo project with Adam Benjamin - is a meditative, polyrhythmic homage to Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain fusing Eastern percussion and Western jazz influences while using a raaga consisting of 27 beats to create a 27/4 meter. "Jaws" is the first movie the drummer ever saw and is an all-time favorite. He pays tribute to his childhood shark obsession with "Bad Fish," completely improvised drum sketches performed as accents to Quint the Shark Hunter's (Robert Shaw) speech in the town meeting room. Jason taps into his classical influences on two of the project's more tuneful tracks, Bach's "Prelude and Fugue No. 2 in C Minor," featuring master concert pianist Glenn Gould; and and the mystical and ambient "The Magic Circle of Infinity," a modern classical composition by American composer George Crumb.

Reflective of its unique creative vibe and audiovisual presentation, TOTAL HARNAGE is being sold (thus far) via Jason's website in two different formats – LP (so the colorful album artwork can "pop" better) and as a USB flash drive shaped like a cassette that contains the music and all of the accompanying videos (several are already up on YouTube).

TOTAL HARNAGE will be available in stores and online everywhere on September 20, 2019


Holly Cooper
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