Source: John Fordham, The Guardian
Harrison is most familiar as Gilad Atzmon's pianist, and the 2006 Atzmon group's diversion toward keyboard electronics might suggest a hint of that on Harrison's personal debut. But this is an acoustic-trio set in Brad Mehldau territory, and the scalding pace and motivic zigzagging of What Is This Thing Called Love? is a reminder both of how much spark remains in this familiar jazz-ensemble format, and how many good examples of it there are in the UK.
Harrison is accompanied by the bassist they call Scotland's Dave Holland - Aidan O'Donnell - and by that sensitive small-group drummer Stephen Keogh. The pianist's quiet, rippling originals take five tracks; there are three standards, and a brooding account of the Spartacus theme with O'Donnell in conversational support. Harrison's swaying ballad Jinni is the most openly songlike of his own pieces (Bill Evans-like in its accelerating development), but - as with Mehldau - the most elliptical, preoccupied overtures develop unexpected fireworks. A promising start.
Frank Harrison, piano
Aidan O'Donnell, bass
Stephen Keogh, drums
1. You Can't Go Home Again 4:57
2. What Is This Thing Called Love 7:07
3. Afternoon In Tromso 5:58
4. First Light 5:38
5. Jinni 5:10
6. Nature Boy 2:52
7. Love Theme From Spartacus 5:29
8. Maria's Planet Song 4:21
9. Falling 3:59
"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins