Stan Harrison | The Ties That Blind

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United States - NY - New York City

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Jazz: Weird Jazz Classical: String Quartet Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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The Ties That Blind

by Stan Harrison

Film-Noir for sax, string quartet and bass from the sax player who has recorded with Radiohead, Bowie, Serge Gainsbourg and others.
Genre: Jazz: Weird Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Feverishly Feeding the FIre
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3:34 $0.99
2. NY: Insane Inside the City
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4:54 $0.99
3. You Probably Think I Understand
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3:39 $0.99
4. A Gentleman Without a Clue
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1:44 $0.99
5. Simply Depression, My Dear
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5:11 $0.99
6. Into the Perfumed Twilight
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3:57 $0.99
7. Shivering With Indifference
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4:59 $0.99
8. The Face Across Her Smile
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2:40 $0.99
9. Good Enough to Say Goodbye
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1:45 $0.99
10. Short Story, Long Ago
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3:36 $0.99
11. Starving the Pig of the Perverse
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4:15 $0.99
12. When the Money Runs Dry
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3:45 $0.99
13. What a Way to End a Day
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5:29 $0.99
14. Do You Ever Wonder?
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2:40 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
I was born in Philadelphia, Pa, and raised in New Jersey (it's not as bad as it's made out to be). Soon after graduating from college with an almost, no, make that totally useless degree in sociology ( I learned, for example, that upon meeting people for the first time, kicking them and offering to sit on their lap is considered antisocial behavior - except in certain parts of Utah) I started working and touring as a full time musician. Unfortunately nothing my parents said at the time was able to stop me from doing this. I might add that before this nosedive into the world of glory and back stage lunch meat I spent a summer driving a cab.

My favorite rides were the ones which involved taking three transvestites from Camden to Philadelphia to buy drugs. Mind you, at the time I had no idea they were doing this but later, in the comfort of the bottom bunk in a converted van going from Phila. to Orlando, Florida I had a few moments to reflect on my past and realized that their throwing a rock at a third floor window, disappearing and then reappearing within 2 minutes only to be driven to the same place across the Ben Franklin bridge was not indicative of a "let's chat" moment. My second favorite ride was when I survived a threat to have my skull smashed in - I think that's how the three drunken construction workers put it. At this point I knew that I was good for only a few more months at this job. On the positive side I learned how to pump gas, drive a stick shift with the shift on the steering column (what do they call that?) and find my way to all the hidden treasures of Camden, New Jersey

Anyway, my first "real" band experience on a professional level (make that, semi-professional level - it's not professional until you don't have to back up a comedian) was with a band I'm sure everyone has heard of, THE DOVELLS. They were famous for such songs as The Bristol Stomp (one of the only dances I could sort of do) and You Can't Sit Down (actually performed by Bruce Springsteen in the beginning of his career -don't expect him to play it too often these days). This lasted for about 7 months until that fateful day when the phone rang and I was told that SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY JUKES was looking for a tenor sax player. I was so excited that I decided to find out who they were. I did, went to the audition and, as the saying goes, "I got the gig". I then made a mental note to buy a tenor sax - I was playing an instrument I borrowed from my good friend, Jon Herington (recently Steely Dan's guitar player)

This was the beginning of 2 1/2 years of "get on the bus", "get off the bus", "I'll see you and raise you a quarter (we played lots of poker - maybe low stakes now but losing or winning $10 made a big difference in our tax category in those days), and, lest I forget, many memorable playing experiences, I think.

Seriously, folks, I had a great time working with Southside but it got to the point where I couldn't play, eat or think without a moniter in front of me so I left the band, moved to a basement in Tenafly, New Jersey and then on to Greenwich Village in New York City. I soon found myself surviving on frozen Bird's Eye Corn. Did you know that if you add salt and pepper you actually double the nutritional content? Eventually, after selling one of the 2 tenor saxes Southside bought me (I had to pay my rent somehow) I got a phone call from the Jukes' horn section to join them in their work with DIANA ROSS. There is no need to go into this other than to say that I lasted for under 2 years (reaching out was OK but I was getting sick of the touching) and left to go on tour with DAVID BOWIE.

The Serious Moonlight Tour was a great tour to be on and it gave me the opportunity to become a founding member of THE BORNEO HORNS, a sax trio consisting of Steve Elson, Lenny Pickett and myself. We played on numerous records and did a few tours playing Lenny's music but I'm getting distracted - more so than normal.

In an effort to make this bio come to a close, I'll speed things up.

Some highlights after Bowie include doing two tours with DURAN DURAN, two tours with SERGE GAINSBOURG (my favorite playing situation in that I had a lot of solo space and a lot of freedom) and a host of other things - TV shows, records, concerts as well as club gigs which I love (when the sound doesn't suck and the floor isn't too sticky from beer spills and there is only minimal damage to my sax at each gig). I have recently been doing some work with RADIOHEAD and trying to get my new CD, THE TIES THAT BLIND, signed.

I have left out quite alot (like studying with Dennis Sandole, writing music for television with John Petersen, reading the entire 3,500 or so pages of Proust's, Remberance of Things Past - that alone took over two years including time off for good behavior) but I've probably told more than any of you are interested in knowing.

Thanks for listening.

All the best,



to write a review


Sax Noir! Moody, dark, lovesick....I love it!
Detectives should have it so good. All the atmosphere of a smokey bar filled with lonely souls. Perfect for that special mood.

Rich Spencer, freeboprich

Living, wheezing, hard drinking Jazz.
I'm well aware that the tag I've chosen for this review appears clumsy and clichéd, the fact is this music covers well-worn noirish paths. But never let it be said that this is a bad thing, in fact Harrison's sound has the greatest panache. He accomplishes great feats, such as sounding as revolutionary as Miles Davis' improvised "Ascenceur pour l'echafaud" without self-importance or intellectualising.

The symbiosis of the 'chamber' strings with the sax presiding sounds so fluid and organic, it's hard to believe that they had been arranged as such on purpose. They're most reminiscent of Clive Mansell's arrangement for the Kronos Quartet in "Requiem for a Dream".

The only perceptible flaw would be the recording of the first two vocal tracks which is overly "antiquated" with unnecessary clicks and an irritating quality to how the voice is recorded. Also it didn't feel that the mood that came across in the same two tracks matched the gravitas of the lyrics or the rest of the album itself.

Without flaws though, this album would hardly fit its Film Noir persona which is what really what brings it to life, from the introduction of the supercillious lead to the heart-pounding finalé. Harrison has created the soundtrack for the eponymous private dick, portrayed so fluently by a very talented sax.

David E. Clark

instant vintage, plenty of tension and release, incredible sax tone
CD is worth it. Lots of musical risks. Incredible tone and skill on saxes. Everytime I play this CD I hear something different, there's a lot going on. Symbiotic goodness with Strings and rhythm section. One of the very few CDs in my collection that I need.

Romain RIES

Where is Stan Harrsion? I don't know him, I searched to find music like Garbarek, and Cd Baby proposed me Stan Harrison. The combination of his record between string ensemble and saxophone, I found it interesting, so I decided to buy it. But I have to listen mentioned Cd several time, the sound is a little bit strange for me, sometimes when the strings are playing, you have the feeling of the music in a thriller movie, but this sound will be broken by the warmly sound of Stan Harrison's saxophone play. I'm sure that I will appreciate this CD, the sound and the mixture between saxophone and string is very good and interesting, it's not a CD to listen by driving the car, but if you are tired or you only have the pleasure to listen, take the CD of Stan Harrison. Thank you very much for this record, and appologize my bad english

Michael J Fowler

Jazz for your next febrile delerium.
In my dream, I am dozing in a Chinese opium den in old San Francisco. It is located between the symphony hall, where a string quartet is playing; on the other side is a saloon where a saxophonist plays his jazz guts out into the streets. The different music bleeds through the walls on either side of the dark den and is strangely in synch.
I wake up and find that I have dozed while listening to Stan Harrison's "The Ties That Blind". That is not to say that the music is sleep inducing - on the contrary - it is at once dreamy AND invigorating.
This is an album that I enjoyed at once; and yet it grows on me with each audition.
Those who enjoy a mixture of opposites will enjoy this one, e.g. "Officium" by Jan Garbarek/The Hilliard Ensemble. However, Mr. Harrison's effort is much more accessable.
I will be looking forward to the next release by reedsman Stan Harrison.

CD Baby

Film-Noir for sax, string quartet and bass from the sax player who has recorded with Radiohead, Bowie, Serge Gainsbourg and others.