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Donald Harrison: Music


(Big Chief Donald Harrison)
by: Donald Harrison

"Quantum Leap,' is a composition by Donald Harrison which marks the beginning of his quantum jazz style. On this composition Harrison opens infinite ways to approach harmony, melody, time, rhythm and line through his 360 degree axis music concept. He also utilizes his four and three dimensional approaches to all aspects of music  in addition to his time bending concepts to create other aspects of his quantum jazz style. Harrison's accomplishment with quantum jazz is remarkable because all of his innovations in the style are tied to his concept of apprenticing with the masters of jazz to come up with his sound. He got that idea in high school because he understood that most of the innovators he liked all apprenticed. He saw that Louis Armstrong apprenticed with King Oliver, Miles apprenticed with Bird and that Coltrane apprenticed with Miles and Monk. He surmised that it was necessary for him to focus on apprenticing and the rest would come. Harrison wound up becoming a super apprentice that merged all of the lessons learned to form new styles of jazz that are connected to the roots of jazz. He started out at two years-old participating in Afro-New Orleans culture based of Congo Square under his father Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr. Today he is a leader in that culture where he is recognized as The Big Chief of Congo Square. He played and danced in the traditional jazz and brass bands of New Orleans. He played with Louis Armstrong's bassist Arvell Shaw and drummer Barret Deems. He played with The Duke's Men where he honored with taking Johnny Hodges place in the alto chair. He played with almost every living bebop musician in the 80's through the 90's including Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Walter Bishop and Dizzy Gillespie. He also played with the next generation of jazz innovators like Sir Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Don Pullen, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, The Cookers and Larry Coryell. He played with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, The Moscow Symphony Orchestra and The Thailand Philharmonic. He played hip-hop in million selling groups like Guru's Jazz Ma Tazz and Digable Planets.  He played funky and soul music with Fred Wesly, The Funky Meters, Jennifer Holiday, Dr. John, Leo Nocentelli, Allen Toussaint and Idris Muhammad. Harrison's style and innovations are the amalgamation of almost fifty years of constant study birthed into a style that is connected to the whole through participation. Everyone relates to Harrison because he related to everyone. No matter what style of soul based music or era of jazz you like you will hear something you like in Harrison's quantum jazz because he has soaked it all in honestly to create the style.

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