Whenever Everette Harp comes to mind, there is one aspect of his career that rings true; he is a jam maker as well as a jam master. As a native of Houston, Texas, I watched the evolution of this master blaster during the latter part of the 1980s with a high degree of enthusiasm. I often lamented to myself that he was not long for Texas; bigger and better things were in store for him as he pushed the limits of his artistry. Later on during the ‘90s, when he was a regular house band member on the Arsenio Hall Show, a higher level of visibility propelled Everette to an even higher level of evolution.
From the very onset of his career, Everette Harp has combined the elements of funk and circumstance with jazz and opened additional outlets for contemporary jazz. Even in the more sentimental moments of his music, Harp projected a voice that was his own, while allowing an individualized talent to speak beyond the confines of duplicity. For more than 18 years Everette has immersed the jazz scene into music that has always been relevant for its time, without a need to imitate the so-called trappings of commercial smooth jazz antics. With more than six albums to his credit and thousands of loyal fans, Everette has recently released his seventh CD on the Shanachie Record Label entitled "In The Moment."
This latest effort by Everette Harp can be considered one of his best releases to date. Although the jazz recording scene has not heard much from Harp since 2004, he is in constant demand as a performer. "In The Moment" repeats a patented formula that has always worked for Everette, which has been the energetic exhibition of pure unadulterated funk that appeased with ease. As this CD is his first for Shanachie, his very individualized sound remains intact and he continues to push the envelope rhythmic expression. Much of what he does is also supplemented by a severe case of melodic grooves. Produced by the phenomenal Rex Rideout, Everette invited a host of other talented musicians to make "In The Moment" happen. He included Norman Brown, George Duke, Jonathan Butler, Paul Jackson, Jr., Chuck Loeb and George Brown on the session; each musician in their own right possesses impeccable chops.One of the more outstanding tunes is the title track. Everette takes a different route by employing the soprano saxophone with complimentary guitar strings for flavor. Another track entitled "Just As You Are" reeks of strong Harp influenced melodies and is also a tune he wrote. Other offerings on "In The Moment" provide the same ebb and flow across melodies and rhythms that Everette Harp has become known for. This latest release continues a journey that began in Houston, Texas and has since pushed Harp beyond the confines of local notoriety. His music transcends the norm, but Everette does so with ease and sensitivity. Kudos for this very genuine contemporary jazz release because as soon as you hear "In The Moment," all will know that this CD was definitely a moment worth waiting for.