As a jazz musician myself, it’s always nice to get a bit more representation in the rock and metal genres, so to hear the news that Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) was going to be releasing a solo jazz album consisting of reinterpretations of Porcupine Tree songs was absolutely fantastic.
Cheating The Polygraph is not just some novelty album that has simply been thrown together in an attempt to do something ‘out there’ or unique, consisting of the Porcupine Tree songs being played on different instruments. Quite frankly, this album is simply eight songs of good and honest jazz, with the songs reworked in such a way that you don’t need to be a Porcupine Tree fan to enjoy them – this will definitely appeal to the jazz crowd as well.
The layered saxophones work particularly well, along with the various improvised sections, and one of the best things about Cheating The Polygraph is that each instrument gets its time to shine in solo sections, resulting in a wide variety of different sounds and even different styles. Indeed, the different styles of jazz that can be found on the album is another good point, as it shows that Harrison doesn’t just confine him to one specific style – there’s traditional, big band, bebop and even a bit of avant-garde at times!
As a whole, this is just an excellent and engaging album, and an all-round enjoyable listen – Cheating The Polygraph is a release worthy of more than just a passing glance.