Joel Harrison - electric, national steel, acoustic & baritone guitars
Anupam Shobhakar - sarode
Gary Versace - piano, b3 organ & accordian
Hans Glawischnig - double & electric bass
Dan Weiss - drums & tabla
Featuring Special Guests:
David Binney - alto saxophone
Todd Isler - percussion
Bonnie Chakraborty - voice
Chandrashekar Vase - voice
Recorded at Kaleidoscope Sound, Dec. 2012
Engineer - Sal Mormando
Mixed & Mastered by Liberty Elman
Produced by Joel Harrison & Anupam Shobhakar
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
released March 11, 2014
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Leave the Door Open is the debut album from Multiplicity, a multi-cultural, genre-defying collaboration between Guggenheim Fellow and American guitarist Joel Harrison and North Indian-native, virtuoso classical Sarodist and composer Anupam Shobhakar. The album features sounds influenced from the worlds of Indian Classical, jazz, blues and roots music, featuring a cast of some of the finest contemporary improvising musicians in the world: Gary Versace (piano, B-3 organ, accordion), Dan Weiss (drums and tables), Hans Glawischnig (acoustic & electric bass), as well as special guests David Binney (alto saxophone), Todd Isler (percussion), Bonnie Chakraborty and Chandrashekar Vase (vocals).
The music was cooperatively developed and composed by the two leaders between 2010 and 2012 as a result of Shobhakar being featured in a multi-movement work Harrison composed for sarode, classical percussion quartet and jazz quintet. The two developed an immediate rapport sharing an eagerness to learn about and experience as much music as possible. And it’s a natural pairing, as each leader has been involved with a remarkable amount of diverse music over the years: Harrison has released 15 albums to date, has won multiple awards for composition and is known for being a restless soul who is no stranger to taking risks with his music, while Shobhakar hails from the Maihar Gharana, a family whose contribution to the world of Indian instrumental music is unparalleled. Shobhakar’s ability to operate so far outside the usual confines of his instrument is remarkable, and he is known for his wide-ranging compositional palette as well, which has been influenced by his experiences performing in rock bands just as much as Classical Indian music.
Harrison explains, “We both added components to each other’s compositions and worked hard to figure out how to reconcile our different backgrounds. We felt strongly that we should include a ‘folk’ element, adding straight-to-the-heart simplicity with the thornier jazz pieces. As principles of Indian music slowly work their way into the jazz lexicon, alliances such as ours are becoming less rare. It’s a fascinating journey to be taking part in.”
"A vibrant fusion."
The New York Times
"Harrison & Shobhakar offer precise musical diversity. Some people might say that jazz was yesterday? MULTIPLICITY aka LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN proves the opposite."
★★★★★ Die Redaktion
"A release of considerable appeal... Never less than stimulating."
★★★★★ Jazz Journal
"To say an artist "is challenging himself" is a tired cliche, so let's simply note that guitarist/composer Joel Harrison exhibits uncommon curiosity and endurance in his search for different ways to make his music beautiful and visceral. On Leave the Door Open, Harrison forges ahead with kindred spirit Anupam Shobhakar on a project that entwines classical, pop and improvisational modes from both an American and Indian perspective."
"At its best, Multiplicity managers to be both reflective and forward-looking; it is nearly always original in its marriage of the Indian and Western."
★★★★ DownBeat Magazine (Album of the Year list)
"Leave the door open and music from all different corners of the world flocks in. Not only from India which would be obvious, no, Joel Harrison & Aunpam Shobhakar's album features much more than a new extraction of a combination of Indian and Jazz sounds. This is a World Music Jazz recording how it should be with high delights coming from playing blues, jazz and folk as it is heard rarely done together. Harrison's musical door is really wide open especially in comparison to other recordings of other artists who couldn’t open the door more than a little bit.”
★★★★★ Concerto Magazine
"Music – the language of the world. And with this recording we really understand what this means.”
"His latest collaboration, with classical Indian sarode player Anupam Shobhakar, sounds like an exploration of the deepest roots of all guitar-like instruments."
★★★★ The Irish Times
"The mixtures of these fusions are never clearly stated, but they surprise with unexpected sounds and figures from different worlds.”
Hifi News & Record Review
"An exhilarating combination of tastes. Traditions of jazz, blues and Indian improvisation come together and change each other in this intriguing and beautiful album."
"Harrison is as prolific as he is eclectic, as can be seen in his most recent output."
"A summary of the two musicians can be looked at like this: As different as they are, the Mississippi and the Ganges, flowing through both is the same freshwater."
"With Harrison and Shobhakar's stylistic confluence, intuitive interpretive skills and compelling compositional abilities, Leave the Door Open is a project that, hopefully, won't be a one-time affair. It's a heady brew that doesn't so much find a meeting point where East and West meet as it does blow the door open between the two, allowing the music to seamlessly ebb and flow from and towards both sides, creating something that's the sum total of both but equally reverent to their individual touchstones."
All About Jazz
"The material is disparate, the project is ambitious."
"The album thrills with an impressive mix of Indian Classical, jazz, blues and folk. Besides the two heads of the project, there is an illustrious selection of core musicians to the ensemble. An excellent collection of creative forces."
Rhein Main Magazine
"American guitarist Joel Harrison developed a joint band project with the North Indian Sarode player Anupam Shobhakar, and the results are a rousing World Jazz Mix with very exciting, quiet passages."
"Moods flowing from pastoral to mercurial at the drop of a hat... The blues is universally celebrated here. Dig in!"
"Virtuosic traditional yodeling and throat singing from one of the vocalists initially permeates the raga-like theme, created by timbral mash-ups from tremolo organ, stop-time percussion and tabla clunks. Finally pressurized energy bursts into thrilling animation as processed guitar distortions and staccato sarod quivers cross and challenge each other."
The New York City Jazz Record
"An impressive piece of work."
"The album title says it all - namely the request to leave the door wide open. Something special."
"An ambitious release."
"Leave The Door Open is the debut album Multiplicity, a multi-cultural, genre-spanning project of the Guggenheim student and world-renown guitarist Joel Harrison and originating from northern India, virtuoso classic Sarode player and composer Anupam Shobhakar. The album excites with an impressive mix of Indian classical, jazz, blues and folk. In addition to the two heads of the project belongs an illustrious selection of excellent musicians in the ensemble."
"A truly illustrious group of high caliber musicians."
Music an sich
"Heart Touching simplicity meets thorny jazz eruptions."
"Harrison and Shobhakar blend more than well, and they produce a nuanced meshing of ancient and modern musical styles that include the inclusion of traditional Bengali music and an African-American spiritual harnessing incendiary improvisational resources to spectacular effect at certain points."
"The two "duel" with great devotion with a touch of spirituality in the air."
Sound & Image
"In a week teeming with albums that could be designated as Something Different, this collaboration between guitarist Joel Harrison and sarodist Anupam Shobhakar may top them all. A mix of jazz, Indian classical, blues and soul, this fascinating set of tunes transcends influence while remaining salt of the earth. Joining the duo are the keys (and accordion) of Gary Versace, the bass of Hans Glawischnig, the drums & percussion of Dan Weiss, and guests David Binney and Todd Isler. Terribly compelling music. Recommended."
Drummer Magazine (Recommended new release -March, 2014)
"The album works perfectly; the palette is stretched really far - from jazz to classical, rock and blues to Indian folk."