Translation of the piece about Kodac HARRISON and ‘In Too Deep’/’Portraits And Passages’

This translation was made by Kodac HARRISON using Google translator.  I only made a few final adjustments. So this is the result of true transatlantic team work!

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There is a vast musical landscape of exciting, active, and sometimes even influential figures evolving outside the mainstream. That’s one of the reasons why we often learn about them very late, therefore, giving rise to the thought that there are quite a few whose existence we may never know.  (Note: these are perfectly ‘normal’ musicians, not anomalies, but for some reason they are outsiders, they are not widely known. Two such phenomena come to mind, the late Billy Marlowe and James Jackson Toth (a.k.a. Wooden Wand))

 

And here is Kodac Harrison, of whom we ask ourselves, how could we have missed him? Born and raised in Jackson, Georgia, from age nineteen, Kodac has lived in many places in the United States, where his abilities as a musician and man of the word developed. As a singer-songwriter and excellent acoustic guitarist, he has had multiple bands and has created a total of sixteen recordings of original songs and spoken word.  Kodac’s roots areblues and southern soul. The synthesis is what he calls beatnik blues.  He is gifted with a beautiful voice, a soulful baritone, with a wide range and great expressiveness.  His influences include the blues of Howlin’ Wolf, the soul of Otis Redding, and the jazz of the great tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins (the sax is prominent on Kodac’s recording). Kodac has shared billing with the biggest names (from Marianne Faithful to John Mayer and from Alejandro Escovedo to Delbert McClinton). He also performs spoken word sessions (even as an actor in a movie), recited his poetry, did lectures and workshops, wrotefilm scores, did voice-overs, and participated in tributes, where he collaborated with such beautiful people as Patti Smith.  He has performed for U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He regularly tours Europe, with his bohemian blues, or folk-soul.   It is truly a mystery that we have not previously noticed this busy bee!

 

Kodac now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, but it is easy to see from his activity in recent years, that he has not taken his foot off the accelerator.  If, like us, you are not aware of the musician Kodac Harrison and want to know about him, you can take solace in his recording entitled, “In Too Deep” (Favorite Recordings 1984-2004), which is a compilation of his choice. He says the songs on the CD are not necessarily his best recordings or his best songs, but are some of his favorite recordings. Kodac’s choices were determined by things such as the over-all sound, his guitar tone, or the performance of the band. Some songs were never released, others are no longer available. Kodac picked a number of very different songs, but over-all a high quality is achieved.  The following is just a random selection from the wide range of songs. The beautiful funky drive of “The Aroma of Amsterdam’’, with its jagged lyric and appropriate chorus … and at the end, the bass player quotes the bass line from “Walk on the Wild Side,” making us wonder if he is not referring to the “New Amsterdam” on the other side of the ocean? Then there is the long drawn out live recording (more than ten minutes!) of “The Edge of Ecstasy,” which possesses  pronounced atmospheric qualities and the downright phenomenal contribution of saxophonist Nick Longo, who makes it an outright homage to the invention of Adolphe Sax of the Belgian city of Dinant.

 

Loving You” is an emotional ballad that features the violin of Daniel Brown, which cuts to the bone marrow, and stands as a nice contrast to the penetrating vocals of a Kodac Harrison. In “Got Laid Last Night” Kodac there’s a vocal threesome with Beverly Brown and Kristin Markiton, while both Nick Longo and Daniel Brown provide further embellishment of this purely fun song.  Harrison knows well how to assimilate his influences. We think of the opening of “Rudy’s Restless,” which he wrote in 1981, when ska and rocksteady as performed by bands like Madness and the Specials was still quite popular. Kodac’s approach reminds me of Ian Hunter and Graham Parker, not only vocally, but more so in terms of musical style.  Kodac’s mix of rock, blues and soul, is also evidenced by the final rousing tribute to a beautiful lady on, “Moving Masterpiece.”

 

In short, “In Too Deep” offers a dozen songs over a period of 75 minutes, and is a very good value for your money.  You can impress your friends by asking if they have heard of Kodac Harrison and when they say no, you can pull out the CD.  I feel there are surely other interesting creations from this artist, but for now I’ll be content with are with “In Too Deep.”

Translation of the piece originally written by Antoine Légat, still online @ www.rootstime.be

P.S. Meanwhile, we also listened to, “Portraits and Passages,” a CD released in 2003, which contains spoken word as well as songs. The CD includes a live recording, “Winter Beach,” which was recorded in Eindhoven (Kodac thanks the audience in Dutch).  Not all the selections are his own, but come from various other writers. Three of the songs from “Portraits and Passages” are included on “In Too Deep” (“The Aroma of Amsterdam”, “Beautiful Sound” and “Moving Masterpiece”) but they are certainly not the only ones to convince

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