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Fearless Shores by Richard Hart

Jazz guitarist Richard Hart has devised new concoctions for fusion buffs by developing dynamic interactions of cool jazz elements, hard-bop motifs, smooth funk grooves, and blues-pop stylizing on his fourth studio album Fearless Shores, released by Innervision Records. Recorded and engineered by Mark S. Miller, Hart’s album displays his emotive writing technique and astute arrangement accoutrements. All of his tracks are instrumental murals with Hart on guitar, Ron Munn on alto and tenor saxophone, Dorothy Soto on bass guitar, and Mark Winkel on percussions.

The oscillating exchanges are compelling with cruising tempos that are aurally delightful and sensory wrapped knolls sophistically poised. The currents are spooled gracefully and the vibe is uplifting with cascading notes that swoon, lament, cogitate, whirl, and ascend through the elegantly trellised movements. The album commences with an ebullient session of ritzy horns, upbeat guitar braiding, and charming salsa shakers on "R&R," which move into a bluesy tone on "Getzmondes" piping a Sex In The City vamp in the gentle interplay of drum rolls, glistening saxophone trimmings, and frilly guitar lacing. The title track is a maze of calypso-tweaked sax sibilants and flounces of rumba beats fluttering alongside the Latin motif guitar rotations. Hart engages his sensory skills to map out blissful aesthetic, which sonically calm, soothe and fife a relaxing island ambiance.

The smooth jazz dressings on "Bimjo" are accented with hip swaying shakers and chill-out drum strokes. The lounging sax crimps hoot along "Can’t Pass You By" while adorned with gently brushed drum grazes while the glittering hard-bop trance of "Hip Skip ‘N’ A Jump" is marinated with an upbeat sax and shingled quavers in the rhythmic motions. The funk-jazz themes on "Groove On G Street" are a sorbet of contemporary dance steps through the bass riffs, vitality in the scalloped sax fringes and playfulness in the guitar glides. The jovial crescents of the sax cuffs and crystalline guitar feathering on "Promise Fulfilled" channel vivid tones powdered by lively tambourine flourishes. The final track "This Be It" implements a skat shuffle in the montage of hopping sax cornets, buoyant tambourines, and trickling guitar perts strolling along the bubbly rhythm lifts.

Richard Hart accomplishes developing harmonious dialogs among the instrument parts with improvised notations that add to the cultural tapestry of modern jazz. The hard-bop sequences breathe into the blues-pop trysts and the cool jazz shafts with the sleekness of Chuck Mangione and a Spyro Gyro finesse.

Hart describes in a press release about the making of this album, "It was like standing on the seashore and watching the giant waves come rushing in and not being afraid to test the waters. Now was the time for me to resist the urge to run from the waves and stand there to be counted as a ripple in the sea of jazz."

Richard Hart has made several ripples in modern jazz with his latest album Fearless Shores.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Richard Hart
  • CD Title: Fearless Shores
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Innervision Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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