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"In The Moment": Everette Harp
By Mike Heyliger
Those of you who were with it in the early
Nineties may remember saxophonist Everette
Harp as the brotha with the high top fade and
the long ponytail who sat in with Arsenio Hall’s
band damn near every other week. No
denying Arsenio was one of the first to give
Harp some shine, but since his debut in ‘91,
the sax man has put it down with a handful
of albums-seven, to be exact, that set his fluid blowing against some
of the smoothest jazz/soul music around. His latest effort on the
Shanachie label, “In The Moment”, is no different.

As with the best “smooth jazz” albums, “In the Moment” is an album
you can picture yourself jamming to in mid-summer as you sit in your
backyard some early morning, just chillin with your feet up. The songs
are up tempo while also still retaining a sense of relaxed cool.
“Another Bedtime Story” and “Holla” will both have you snapping your
fingers and bopping your head. Harp’s playing is supplemented by a
cream of the crop of sidemen . Joining Harp for the ride are legends
like Paul Jackson, Jr. (who contributes a slightly unhinged solo on
“Another Bedtime Story”), George Duke and Norman Brown.

The groove never goes away on this album: even songs like the
strutting “L.V. Shuffle” and the chilled-out, mid-tempo “Just As You
Are” coolly split the difference between mellow and funky. An album
highlight, however, is definitely the seductive “Night Calls”, which
finds Everette joined by Jonathan Butler on an excellent, almost-slow
piece. If you’re looking for a record made by quality musicians that
relaxes your mind, body and spirit, then Everette Harp’s “In The
Moment” will definitely be a worthwhile pickup for you.

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