Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

304

Everette Harp: My Inspiration

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Where does inspiration come from? For some musicians they find it in joy and others in pain. Everette Harp's My Inspiration is a tribute to his father, who passed away in February 2007.

Harp knows when to step up and lead the show and when to lay back and let his fellow players stretch out a bit. The aptly named "Juke Joint" is written by Pieces of A Dream head honcho James Lloyd, who also contributes a funky solo on Fender Rhodes electric piano, an instrument that fell out of favor with the waning of fusion jazz but now seems to be enjoying something of a return. Harp's saxophone is augmented with support from trumpeter/flugelhornist Dan Fornero and trumpeter Nick Lane.

There is a kind of back-in-the-day feel to My Inspiration, where the emphasis was often placed on going into the studio, just playing and seeing what happened instead of dutifully trying to crank out a hit. Seven of the ten tracks are originals written by Harp, and the only cover tune is "Don't Look Any Further" At this point in his career Harp seems focused on what kind of sound he can squeeze out of his alto and tenor saxophones as "All Jazzed Up (and Nowhere to Go), "In Time" and "Old School" make clear. The emphasis here is in being authentic and true to the soulfulness of making music over crafting radio-friendly fodder.

That doesn't mean Harp isn't working hard here. He sounds inspired, liberated and downright sanctified on the lively, yet delicate, "In My Father's Eyes." Here Harp exalts and shows reverence to his late father, the Reverend Miller M. Harp, to whom My Inspiration is dedicated. Harp achieves lift-off as he blows with a fierce passion. Major thumbs-up to "Big" Jim Wright's quietly effective embellishments on organ, piano and Fender Rhodes that add to the poignancy of the track.

"Don't Look Any Further" has been covered by various artists from ex-Temptations vocalist Dennis Edwards to British dance diva Heather Small and M People, and while it does showcase Doc Powell's guitar to good effect, it seems a tad out of place here. There are no outright losers here, but after what has come before the pop sensibilities of "Don't Look Any Further" seem to belong on a different album.

Harp puts down the sax to deliver a rare vocal turn on "My Inspiration." As a singer Harp is merely adequate, but it's the last song on the album, and by this time Harp has built up a reservoir of good will. How can you be mad at a son telling the world how much he loves his father?

Back in 1962 Sonny Rollins would spend days walking the Brooklyn Bridge playing his sax and changing up his style. That was his inspiration. Harp has found his within the loss of a loved one, but My Inspiration is a celebration and not the least bit mournful.

Track Listing: Juke Joint; All Jazzed Up (and Nowhere To Go); In Time; Old School; Funky Palisades; In My Father's Eye; Chasin'; Wait 4 U; Don't Look Any Further; My Inspiration.

Personnel: Everette Harp: alto and tenor saxophones, keyboards, vocal; Rex Rideout: keyboards; A. Ray "The Weeper" Fuller: guitar; Alex Al: bass; Teddy Campbell: drums; Lenny Castro: percussion; Dan Fonero: trumpet and flugelhorn; Nick Lane: trombone; James Lloyd: keyboards (1); Michael Ripol: nylon acoustic guitar (3); Jeff Lorber: keyboards (5); "Big" Jim Wright: organ, piano and Fender Rhodes (6); Dwight Sills: nylon-string acoustic and electric guitar (2, 8, 10); Lauren Evans: background vocals (9, 10); George Duke: piano (7); Brian Simpson: piano (8); Doc Powell: nylon-string acoustic guitar (9).

Title: My Inspiration | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Shanachie Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Blues and Boogie Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Boogie Vol. 1
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Green Moss Black Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Green Moss Black Sand
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Troy Collins
Published: January 26, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!