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 (http://www.pernilla.dk)
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.