"Charley Harrison is one of the outstanding new voices in jazz arranging and composition. His ability to incorporate improvisation with Orchestration is masterful."
- Kenny Burrell, legendary guitarist
"Harrison's compositions provide great platforms for the soloists...This is a promising effort, with bright swinging arrangements, a good array of tunes and plenty of ensemble power."
- Will Smith
"Brilliant arrangements like these remind us why we love big bands."
- Ed Trefzger
"If you like well-crafted Big Band music, that swings, featuring great vocalists and world class soloists, you must discover this new, young composer and arranger. He has put together a swinging, dynamic group of performances that will lead listeners back for a desire for more!"
- Rick Holland
"Charley Harrison is one of the finest young composers on the scene today. The compositions and arrangements that he has contributed to the CJO have helped to give the orchestra its special identity. 'Keeping My Composure' sparkles with the wonderful creativity of Charley Harrison's music, and it is a CD that exemplifies that special relationship between Charley and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra."
-Jeff Lindberg, Artistic Director
Chicago Jazz Orchestra
About Charley Harrison:
With the release of his first solo CD, "Keeping My Composure", composer, arranger and conductor Charley Harrison, is poised to join the ranks legendary composer/arranger/conductors that helped chart the course of jazz.
A Chicago native, Harrison has been appointed Co-Director of the newly formed Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra Unlimited, while continuing to serve as Director of the UCLA Jazz Orchestra, as well as, Associate Artistic Director and guitarist for the eighteen-piece Chicago Jazz Orchestra (CJO). The CJO backed Harrison on "Keeping My Composure", a CD of original material and jazz standards, with guest performances by vocalists Freddy Cole, Kurt Elling, Sara Gazarek and CJO’s Frieda Lee, guitarist Bobby Broom and pianist Cedar Walton, among others.
A rare breed of composer, Harrison, is equally skilled with a baton in front of an orchestra or behind a computer in a studio full of synthesizers. His music has been enjoyed on the silver screen, the TV screen, and featured in symphony halls and nightclubs, nationally and internationally. His multi-dimensional compositions and arrangements meld modern, classic swing, Latin and contemporary jazz elements. In 2011, Harrison was selected by legendary jazz guitarist, Kenny Burrell, to compose the opening movement to the "Suite for Peace", which was premiered by combined symphony and jazz orchestras at Burrell’s 80th Birthday Tribute,.
In 2000, composer/producer/jazz artist Marcus Miller recruited him to score "The Trumpet of the Swan" for Sony/TriStar. The two then went on to collaborate on The Ladies Man for Paramount and "One Love" for Spyglass Entertainment. Charley also lent his transcription and orchestration talents to Miller’s 2002 Grammy award winning album "M2". Other recent highlights include scoring writer/director Don Goodman's drama "Lavinia’s Heist" and writer/director Steven Gary Banks’ comedy "Head Rush"; and contributing arrangements to "From Christmas Eve to Christmas Morn" for Tony nominee Brian D’Arcy James.
Harrison’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by some of the biggest names in jazz, such as Joe Williams, Clark Terry, Kenny Burrell, Ann Hampton Callaway, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Through his role with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, he has had the pleasure of performing with some of the greatest musicians in the industry, like Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Hamlisch and Herbie Hancock.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Charley has also attended Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music. Charley honed is composition skills in the advertising industry for diverse clients that included McDonald’s, the Chicago White Sox, Chuck E. Cheese and Bissell Vacuum Cleaners.