GARY HARRIS: Here For You (Label: 290 Records)

  • Home
  • Reviews
  • GARY HARRIS: Here For You (Label: 290 Records)

Another day, another smooth jazz, sax-led album and though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this collection I can’t really see where it’s going and with the dearth of media outlets to promote this kind of music nor can I see Mr Harris moving many units. But, as I’ve just hinted, for a smooth sax set – this ticks all the boxes. Though I know little about Gary Harris, it’s clear he’s a proficient player and knows the genre. He offers just ten cuts and understands that amongst them there has to be some kind of balance – hence there’s bright and beaty boppers like ‘Remember This’ and ‘Under The Radar’ and the obligatory slowies – best represented by ‘Here For You’. You also get a vocal – ‘Yesterday Is Gone’. Vocalist is Leonard Julien III and he has a wonderful Will Downing-esque set of pipes which do a good job on a fairly unremarkable quiet storm ballad. And in many ways that’s the best way to sum up the whole album. It’s just unremarkable. There’s nothing here to excite, but I guess that’s the nature of the genre. If it did set pulses racing too fiercely, then it wouldn’t be smooth jazz. What is noticeable too is that the most anodyne tracks are the ones that feature programmed drums. The music does start to come alive when real drums are used – as on the jaunty, retro ‘Malvina’s Song’. Interesting ….almost!
(BB) 3/5