Bassist, Harvie S, formerly known as "Harvie Swartz," doesn’t need to begin convincing anyone of his multi-talented musicianship as a leader and sideman for a stellar list of jazz artists. "New Beginning" the second album of Harvie’s latest project, "Eye Contact," displays the versatility and harmonic complexity of his compositions influenced by Afro Cuban and Latin rhythms. Harvie wrote all of the selections for this CD with the exception of track #5, "African Heartbeat," written by member violinist, Gregor Huebner.
This energetic project features the exceptional contributions of Michael Brecker tenor sax, Haru Takauchi guitar, and Ray Vega trumpet. From upbeat and groove-laden Latin-tinged tempos to Fusion-laced jaunts, this CD holds many surprises. Just when you think you have a preconceived notion of a particular song, Harvie surprises you with a 180, developing his impressionism and reinventing his composition.
You can’t put this CD into a neat little "Latin" box or "Fusion" box, but Harvie offers some exemplary compositions, with each musician on this CD delivering fine performances throughout. The more I play this CD, the more I enjoy its unexpected diversity and melodic energy. Harvie’s "New Beginning" CD assures the listener that there is something going on beyond trying to put a label to it. There is pleasure in the listening and always something exciting around the corner.
Harvie S will be taking his project on tour (February/March 2002) to Denmark, Poland and Italy, but look for an upcoming feature interview with this outstandingly inventive bassist, composer and educator, right here on JazzReview.com.