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Joel Harrison & Lorenzo Feliciati : Holy Abyss

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Guitarist Joel Harrison doesn’t repeat himself. His last three albums included a long-form fusion soundscape, acoustic Americana and a with-strings tribute to Paul Motian. His two fine new releases, Holy Abyss (a collaboration with bassist Lorenzo Feliciati) and Search, continue that unpredictability. Both feature small bands (quintet and septet, respectively) with horn, piano and Hammond B3. Otherwise, everything differs-most notably the guitarist’s place in the ensemble.

Holy Abyss is a set of tense, moody, nearly psychedelic soundscapes, with the guitarist clearly at the helm. He and trumpeter Cuong Vu either double or play counterpoint on nearly every head, and Harrison takes the album’s longest, most distinctive solos, including two labored, stinging minutes on the opening dirge, “Requiem for an Unknown Soldier.” He marks his territory with a rock-inspired snarl and abrasive chord voicings, contrasting Vu’s nasal, crying lyricism.

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