236

Harvie S: Texas Rumba

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist/Composer Harvie S made two good decisions when producing his latest release, Texas Rumba : he emphasized his turn towards Latin Jazz, and he recorded it live, thus presenting to best advantage his bands ability to build energy, keep loose, and entertain.

Unfortunately, the latter choice compromised the sound quality, leaving the recording at times muddy and soft. Despite this handicap, Texas Rumba captures on disc Harvie S’s transformation into a full-blown Latin jazz enthusiast. In fact, Mr. S’s compositions and playing have become so immersed in Latin influences that his performance is at its best the closer he sticks to the Afro-Cuban and other Latin material he has absorbed over the past few years of experimentation and study.

Tunes like the title track and the subsequent “Good News” brim with the kind of rhythmic movement and positive energy one would want on the stereo while throwing a good party. Likewise, the lively, well-executed tunes “Facil” and “Blindside” reveal Mr. S’s ability to create diverse Latin-based compositions and execute them with inventiveness and rhythmic surety.

However, the leader's forays into slower tempos and ballads prove less successful. With the exceptions of the elegant “Before” and Harvie S’s brief, solo coda “Floating,” these pieces lack compositional depth and even the bassist's tasteful improvisations are unable to keep the band, particularly trumpeter Rivkin, from sliding into the facile, overly earnest territory of smooth jazz. A good example of this is the album’s only standard, “Monk’s Mood.” While Mr. S offers an insightful interpretation of this oft-performed piece, his bandmates’ flat contributions and an overall lack of cohesion overwhelm his promising opening.

Particularly enjoyable for its up-tempo, highly danceable tracks, Texas Rumba , though lacking a certain polish and sophistication, is a balanced album of good, solid party music mixed with a few more experimental moments.


Track Listing: 1. Texas Rumba; 2. Good News; 3. From Now On;. Curved Corners; 5. Blindside; 6. Before; 7. Momentano; 8. Facil; 9. Monk's Mood; 10. Underneath It All; 11. Floating.

Personnel: Harvie S - acoustic bass; Daniel Kelly - piano; Scott Robert Avidon - tenor and soprano sax; Renato Thoms - percussion; Adam Weber - drums; Gregory Rivkin - trumpet.

Title: Texas Rumba | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "I Believe In You" CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Dreaming Big" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming Big
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.