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MP3 Ed Harlow - Two Views

Lush sax and vocal jazz outing

11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Traditional Jazz Combo, JAZZ: Jazz Vocals

Saxophonist Ed Harlow has a gorgeous tone, lodged somewhere between the lilt of Paul Desmond and the muscular passion of Johnny Hodges and imbued with the sex appeal of Stan Getz. Guitarist Mitch Seidman works out of a sort of Brazilian Joe Pass style, and bassist Todd Baker and drummer/percussionist Take Toriyama are a finely meshed, simpatico rhythm section. The results of this eleven-tune gem are thoroughly tantalizing.

The title refers to the different attitude brought to the studio for two very separate sessions. The first six tunes feature the above named quartet on Harlow originals. From the opening gentle lines that set up "Empty V", it''s apparent that Harlow is a warm and personable player. This is intimate, enticing music. "Wet Silk" again demonstrates the great appeal of this tenor man. His tone is fat, warm and intricately played, much like Sonny Rollins'' balladry. "Hawaii" has a lushness that fits the rainy island beautifully and suggests shades of Coltrane in the body, and "Summer''s End" has a melancholy that speaks well to the theme.

The second "view" was recorded previous to the first set by two years. Drums are absent, and in their place is the pliant, expressive voice of Pernille Aidt, a woman born to sing jazz classics. There is more than a hint of Flora Purim in Miles Davis'' "Four," which benefits from new lyrics penned by Ed Harlow. This is an exciting tune on a number of levels, from the sax and guitar solos to Ms. Aidt''s superb handling of the composition. The following take on Michel Legrand''s "I Will Wait For You" is beautifully delivered. Lennon & McCartney''s "Maxwell''s Silver Hammer" is given an almost Annie Ross-style take. The pace is slowed significantly for a breathtaking version of the classic "My One and Only Love." The closing version of "You Must Believe In Spring" is the sort of performance that would break down the Grammy nomination doors if it were on an established record label. This is hands down one of the most impressive jazz discs of last year and comes highly recommended from these quarters.

-Mark E. Gallo
Blues on Stage


Mature and vibrant , April 17, 2003

Ed Harlow''s second CD pulls together his many influences in one collection of mature, thought-provoking jazz.

His composing and arranging techniques are at their peak here with his wonderful, original instrumental pieces and his treatments of some well-known standards with Pernille Aidt. The combo is brilliant yet understated, intelligent conversationalists who speak clearly and succintly but capture so much in the understated things they say. Harlow''s sax tone and technique will hopefully be recognized soon as the A-list contender that it is.

This CD is an excellent addition to anyone''s jazz collection, an independent CD that will stand up to many of the major label efforts. Slide this disc in, settle back with a glass of wine and the one you love and watch the heat rise.

-Dean Glines


Boston-based saxophonist Ed Harlow is a graduate of the University of North Texas and a veteran of a post-collegiate music world of ghost big bands (Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw), Motown pop acts (Four Tops, Temptations) and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. "Two Views" is Harlow''s second CD for Fresh Vinyl records, and pairs his quartet with Danish singer Pernilla Aidt on five selections.

Harlow recounts in the disc liner notes that four more vocal compositions were omitted from this project. Harlow crafted interesting arrangements and wrote original lyrics for "Lotus Blossom", "Peace", "Lamesha", and "Watch What Happens". Pernilla also set Django Reinhardt''s "Nuages" to a French lyric. Unfortunately, difficulties with the copyright holders prevented these selections from being recorded.

A predominant bossa nova feel and quiet, sparse accompaniment set the mood of this CD. Drummer Take Toriyama satisfied the wish that Harlow expresses in the liner notes for a drummer who is barely noticeable, but who adds an important rhythmic feel to the pianoless rhythm section. The CD is divided into two distinct parts, six instrumentals, all Harlow originals, followed by five vocals, all of which are standards.

In many ways, this CD is reminiscent of the great work by Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto. Harlow''s sensitive tenor work invokes a sincere tribute to Getz''s artistry, and Aidt''s soft, silky voice aided by a delightfully sweet accent compliments his playing well.

Harlow''s quartet delivers a strong traditional performance on this CD, aided greatly by the leader''s straight-ahead tenor work and the wonderful vocals of Pernilla Aidt. I have listened to this CD often for the last few weeks and feel certain that any jazz fan would enjoy it as much as I have.

-Michael Laprarie

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