Harasim is obviously the shining light of smooth jazz. Last year I
reviewed his debut album
Next In Line
(2007) and prognosticated his splendid future. One year later I
reported about his commercial success on NuGroove Music with his
Love's Taken Over (2008). In between a short period Nate presents
his third endeavor, a collaboration with vocalist Deborah Connors
called Reminisce (2008). Deborah was one of the top vocal
coaches in Chicago, and had been producing and writing jingles,
commercials, and songs for film and TV shows. Her debut album was
Midnight Affair, settled in the Dance genre.
The fusion of
these great talents was initiated by NuGroove Records President David
Chackler to inaugurate the new mesmerizing project called De'Nate'.
The project is supported by Mel Brown (bass), Darren Rahn (sax), and
other label mates.
memories. Reminisce is a contemplative tune about personal
keepsakes. A melody fading in and away performed with love by Gordon
James (trumpet), Nate and Deborah.
put much of her own impressions and experience into this album. All
You Are To Me is a good example for this kind of process.
was originally released by the Eurhythmics (1983), a stellar duo of
singer Annie Lennox and keyboardist Dave Stewart. It was the
commercial and musical breakthrough of this formation and Dave's
merits to introduce the sound of synthesizer (Oberheim OB1 and EDP
Wasp) into Pop music. Nate comments: "The
original was so hot, that it was a challenge at first to reproduce
this track with the De'Nate' sound, yet pay respect to the original.
Since I like a good challenge, I went for it. Another factor in
choosing the song was Deb's voice. Need I say more?" De'Nate" transfer
the original to another level melting in their own personalities.
artist on the sweet song Miss'n You is guitarist Michael
Powell. Michael is specialized in vocal albums. On his roster are
artists like Anita Baker, Oleta Adams and Jody Watley. He is also a
regular sideman and producer for Deborah.
Let Your Body
Move presents Darren Rahn (sax) and Frank Selman (guitar), who
deliver the instrumental note into this song. While the song is in the
first part more on the Pop side, these musicians and Nate transfer the
theme into some Salsa movement in the style of Gloria Estefan.
highlight of this album is Quincey Jones' Secret Garden.
“Talk about a challenge, at least for me anyway. Nate wanted to cover
the song and again, the track that he produced was incredible!!!!! As
I listened to the original version written by Quincy Jones, El
DeBarge, R. Temperton and G. Seidah, I thought to myself, 'OK... this
is an awesome tune, classically done and by all male vocalists - Barry
White, James Ingram and more. The lyrics are geared towards a man
wanting to experience a woman's ‘Secret Garden.’ A very passionate and
personal expression of the lyrical content so, of course, my first
thought was how in the world can I pull this off? As I listened, it
came to me quite abruptly! Do the song as a duet, share the experience
of The Secret Garden. Instead of it being a one-way
conversation, turn it into a conversation between two people who want
to experience this passion together. We brought in Maurice Mahon and
his voice and expressive abilities worked perfectly.”
Darren Rahn showcases his perfect skills as flutist and sax player on
So Sexy framing Deborah's sultry vocals. Darren is currently an
in-demand sideman with an impressing repertoire. He crossed my way on
albums like Jay Soto's Stay Awhile, Ross Krutzinger's Last
Days Of Spring, Bobby Wells' Bayside, Michael Manson's
Up Front or Dave Sereny's Take This Ride.
The album is
finished with I Can Take You There. A song revealing the high
potential of Deborah's collaboration with Nate Harasim.
One never knows
what happens when a female Pop vocalist is performing with a jazz
instrumentalist. In this case it's a kind of miracle. Deborah
comments: "I think I can speak for both of us when I say that the
whole experience of writing and recording this album together was
incredible. We just ‘get’ each other musically and work together with
such ease. It's beautiful!" We can fully agree.