With the release of his first solo CD, KEEPING MY COMPOSURE, on C3 Records, composer, arranger and conductor Charley Harrison, is poised to join the ranks of the composer/ arranger/conductors that have helped chart the course of jazz.
A Chicago native, Harrison was appointed Director of the UCLA Jazz Orchestra in 2004, while still serving, since 1991, as Associate Director and guitarist for the eighteen-piece Chicago Jazz Orchestra. CJO is currently backing his 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.
His multi-dimensional orchestral arrangements meld modern, classic swing, Latin and contemporary jazz elements. Last year, his adventurous interpretation of Gershwin’s RHAPSODY IN BLUE, won him a rave review in the Chicago Tribune, which stated, “Writing rhythms that press relentlessly forward, weaving New Orleans street beats and bebop- tinged passages…the last few bars…utterly unexpected, planted the piece firmly into the 21st Century.”
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.