Anton Harris
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Anton Harris

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Nov
28
Anton Harris @ The Five Spot

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nov
21
Anton Harris @ The Five Spot

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nov
14
Anton Harris @ The Five Spot

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


The first release by saxophonist Anton Harris, Modern Mythology, is another example of the rich talent being recorded on independent labels today. This recording not only features a new talent and voice on the jazz scene in the form of Anton Harris, but also a unique ensemble sound that blurs teh boundaries when it comes to descriptive labels or classification. The ensemble describes itself as "Progressive Jazz, with a wide variety of influences including: Hip-Hop, Drum & Bass, Rock and electronica.....in an acoustic setting." The musicians on this CD (Modern Mythology) are Anton Harris, saxopphone, flute, clarinet; Dashill Smith, trumpet, vocals; David Springer, guitar; Brent Shields, bass; Che Marshall, drums; Takana Miyamoto, Hammond B3 & Keyboards; Julie Dexter, vocals; Khari Simmons, Fender Bass.
Born in Oakland, California, Harris' family moved to Georgia at a young age. He began studying music as early as the age of five, but was also influenced by his musically talented family and was exposed to different styles of music from classical to gospel. It was in the fifth grade that he began a strong interest in jazz, and in playing the saxophone. He continued his saxophone studies in high school and was selected to play in the All-State Concert Band as well as the Jazz Ensemble. After graduating from high school, Harris moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University where he received his Bachelors of Music (2001) and Masters of Music in Jazz Studies (2005).
Among Harris's influences on saxophone are Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, among others. He performs often in Atlanta at various festivals and his quartet performs regularly at the Five Spot, Vinocity and the famed Churchill Grounds. harris also currently teaches music students at The Lovett School in Atlanta.
The CD opens up with an original Harris composition. The upbeat tune is catchy and gives the listener a good taste of what's to come. Harris on soprano saxophone and guitarist, (David Springer), give the composition a little more momentum with their fine solos, but the rhythm section, and in particular Che Marshall on drums, provides a nice steady, as well as varied, backdrop of sound throughout.
The second cut, Time Capsule, written by Harris, pairs down the ensemble to the working quartet size of saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums. Harris' composition and solo are well constructed and offer a nice balance of harmonic and rhythmic variety.
Harris' title cut, Modern Mythology, adds vocals, percussion, and a Rhodes piano to provide additional timbres in teh ensemble's overall sound. The end result is a nice combination of sounds that work well together to create a unique ensemble texture.
Nucleus, by trumpeter Dashill Smith, is another example of this experimental approach in blending various sounds, acousitc as well as electronic. The electronic sounds of the guitar as well as the the saxophone, combined with the B3 and the slowly moving repeated bass gives the cut a hard rock sound, but with a more creative flair, especially by the soloists (i.e., Harris, Springer, and Smith).
The lone contribution by guitarist David Springer, Four Noble Truths, has the ensemble back at the quartet size, and with a more straight ahead acoustic approach. A quirky melody and unusual accents open up to a couple of fine solos by Springer adn Harris. Both soloists work their way nicely through the maze of accents and harmonies inherent in the tune and produce interestingly rhythmic and harmonic solos.
Harris's String Theory experiements again with the eclectic electronic sounds of the saxophone, keyboard, and bass (i.e. Fender Bass). With his tennor saxophone sound distorted electronically, Harris burns through an intense solo and is able to provide lots of energy for the ensemble to propel itself forward at a high level. The various sections of the tune and combination of sounds also make this tune quite interesting for the listener. While the use of electronics to distort the saxophone sound is interesting and used creatively by Harris, one wonders if it is needed throughout his entire solo, or if it could be used more effectively on only part of the solo. There is no question Harris' solo, by itself, has much to offer to the listener in harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic interest.
Two other Harris tunes, Soul of the Mystics and Even Horizon, expand the quartet by one, and adds Miyamoto on the Rhodes. Both lean more on the mainstream of sound and approach. Soul of the Mystics has a gentle Latin feel with tasteful solos by bassist Shields, Harris, and Springer. Event Horizon is an up-tempo Latin with Harris returning to an electronically altered saxophone sound for his solo. This time he combines his acoustic sound for the melody and a couple different sounds to alter his saxophone sound during his solo. Along with an excellent solo by Che Marshall on drums, Even Horizon is certainly one of - Saxophone Journal


“The first release by saxophonist Anton Harris, Modern Mythology, is another example of the rich talent being recorded on independent labels today. This recording not only features a new talent and voice on the jazz scene in the form of Anton Harris, but also a unique ensemble that blurs the boundaries when it when it comes to descriptive labels or classifications.”

Frank Bongiorno
Saxophone Journal
- Saxophone Journal


After a couple spins of “Modern Mythology,” by the Anton Harris Quartet I begin to realize how I was drawn to depth of his artistic propensity as an aspiring young artist.

While growing up in a musically inclined family, Anton found himself emerged by a wedded variety of influences including classical, Gospel, and jazz. He began his music adventure at the tender age of five by attending the Yamaha School of Music in Savanna, GA.
The opening, track “Grey Matter” penned by Harris sets the pace by engaging in and triumphant anthem with assertive interplay infusing bright and colorful elements featuring Anton on soprano saxophone, flute, and David Springer on guitar.

“Time Capsule” by Harris is exactly what it is, a journey led by drummer Che’ Marshall who kicks off the groove as guitarist Springer glides in rhythmically calling upon Harris to intercede on saxophone. This is the kind of jazz that moves me, it’s lyrical, has texture, and substance beyond the often overly produced commercial music.
At the third spot Harris pens another piece, this one’s called “Day One.” He ties the chords of excellence by intertwining his voice into the core of jazz-fusion. This song is not long, in fact it’s only 3:36, just enough to bite into and savor the brilliance of this forceful interplay.
“Modern Mythology,” the title track is written by Harris. This number embodies the right dosage of tenacious qualities that modern jazz was founded on. The superb piece features band mate Takana Miyamoto on Rhodes piano and the angelic voice of Julie Dexter. Springer’s tight guitar riffs are persuasive! Therefore, I found his playing reticent of Metheny.
“Nucleus” scored by Dashill Smith opens with a solo by him on trumpet. This track appears to be symmetrically offbeat yet it wraps itself to own unique passages and vibrant grooves!
Guitarist David Springer is no stranger to good playing and compositional skills as found on “Four Noble Truths,” at the sixth spot. The ensembles interplay is impressive, therefore leaving ample room to expand for solos. Yes, this crew knows how to work it!.
The next track is entitled “Dash Interlude,” features Dashill Smith on trumpet and spoken word.
Harris is back with another enthralling composition, this one’s titled “String Theory.” This is rare jewel in the ruff for Modern jazz aficionados; enthusiasts will fine this piece worthy of the accolades and applaud their compositional style and fabulous interplay as a unit.
Bassist Brent Shields pens “Wind Chant” drops in at the nine spot. As you can imagine it features Shields plays upright acoustic bass straight with no chaser and the group’s leader Anton Harris on flute. The piece is expressive yet sonically medium low textures, which also features Keyboardist Takana Miyamoto on the accordion and Kinah Boto plays percussion.
“Soul of The Mystics” is a nicely written tune by Anton Harris that features the usual cast of suspects including Shields on upright bass, Miyamoto is back with the colorful phrasings of the Rhodes, and guitarist Springer in addition too drummer Che’ Marshall keeps the groove in perspective.
Although the band was formed back in, 2003 Harris, and the band have brilliantly displayed the maturity of the groups that’s been around for much longer period. That said, Anton Harris and the crew wraps up this horizontal and vertically intact set of with a whirlwind expedition titled “Event Horizon” which is my favorite and is another composition pen by Harris.
Anton Harris has carved his named in stone with this insightful debut recording titled “Modern Mythology,” which could be one of the most influential templates currently available in modern jazz. With each listen, music enthusiasts will find themselves in awe of the dexterity of the Anton Harris Quartet’s debut project. Yes, I’m excited because music of this magnitude is the process of evolving with great intensity. People simply want spirited soul stirring music that requires their attention not background or elevator music. Kudos to Anton Harris for "keeping it real," and to his fabulously talented players for doin’ what they do best, play jazz!
The voices behind saxophonist Anton Harris ...
Anton Harris, saxophones and flutes
David Springer, guitar
Brent Shileds, acoustic bass
Che Marshall drums
Takana Miymoto, rhodes, hammond B3, accordian
Kinah Boto, percussion
Julie Dexter, vocals
Dashill Smith, trumpet and bass clairnet
Chris Saindon, vibraphones - Contemporary Jazz .com


Discography

Debut CD - Modern Mythology

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

No one remembers musicians who play it safe. Great and memorable musicians redefine music with their uncanny ability to stretch and combine many genres and mediums. Holiday, Ellington and Hendrix did this. And so did Miles--more than once. Now Anton Harris enters into the dialogue regarding great jazz musicians who possess the dexterity to translate multiple genres into one cohesive, yet dynamic story. Whether hip-hop or electronica, rock or gospel, Harris seamlessly sews traditional and experimental patches of sound together to create a musical quilt that warms the soul.
Anton was born in Oakland, California in 1977. Growing up in a musically talented family, Harris, from a young age, was influenced by various styles of music, from classical to gospel to jazz. He began his formal instruction at age five at the Yamaha Music School in Savannah, GA. At age seven the family moved to Statesboro, GA where he continued to study piano under the tutelage of Mr. Wimberly Ponder. He credits Dr Larry Taylor, a longtime family friend, as the person who got him hooked on jazz. During the fifth grade, Harris joined his middle school’s band and began to develop his interest in the saxophone. While in high school, Harris was chosen for the Georgia All-State Concert Band, the All-State Jazz Ensemble, toured seven European countries with the U.S. Collegiate Wind Band and was lead tenor saxophone in Georgia Southern University’s Jazz Ensemble. In 1996 Harris moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University where he received his Bachelors of Music (2001) and Masters of Music in Jazz Studies (2005).
Harris has performed in a wide range of venues, including the Atlanta Jazz Festival (2001), with Russell Gunn (2004) and Julie Dexter (2004), The National Black Arts Festival, SoulFest, JapanFest with Takana Miyamoto, Jazzplex (Macon, GA), Katch a Vibe, Sambuca Jazz Café, and Apache Café.

The Anton Harris Quartet was formed in 2003 with band members Che Marshall (drums), David Springer (guitar) and Brent Shields (bass). The group began recording its debut album Modern Mythology in August 2005, with production and project coordinator Khari Simmons and contributing artists, Kinah Boto, Dashill Smith and Chris Saindon. The Modern Mythology album release party boasted two sold-out shows and guest appearances by Grammy-nominated artists David Sanchez and Russell Gunn.
The group performs regularly at The Five Spot, Vinocity and the famed Churchill Grounds in Atlanta, Georgia.

To listen to Anton Harris play is to embrace a whirlwind of masterful sounds, surrounded by the styles of great musicians of the past yet hearing the distinct sound of the future. Harris’s influences are as varied as his music, from Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and Kenny Garrett to John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, among others. Yet, Harris importantly notes, “Many of my influences aren’t famous yet, like Lee and Brian Hogans and Dashill Smith. There are a lot of local cats who I constantly learn from.” Additionally, Harris fuses his sound with many genres like hip-hop and electronica, often composing his music electronically then translating it as jazz.
Currently, Anton Harris resides in Atlanta and enjoys teaching budding music students at The Lovett School.