World of Slick Music
Hi again folks guess who’s back with another edition of wosm 🙂 Today i’m gonna write about one of my favorite sax players called Everette Harp. Guess he’s not so famous for the big mass but if you’re into like smooth jazz or maybe gospel you’re familliar with him. In these circles he’s a huge name.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1961 on August 17 as the youngest of 8 children. His father was a minister/pastor and his mother was also working in the church playing piano/organ. So no surprise that his first influence was gospel music in fact you might say that he got it when his mom was brestfeeding him! Anyway he began playing piano at the age of 2 and began practicing the saxophone at the age of 4. He started playing jazz in high school and later attented North Texas State University as a music major in the early 1980:s.
After playing in some local Houston bands during the early and mid 80:s he moved to Los Angeles and immediately toured briefly with r&b singer Teena Marie and then later internationally with Anita Baker also r&b/jazz singer. 1990 a certain George Duke signed Everette to a production deal through Capitol Records with a little known group called 101 North, picture above. George Duke had a bigger plan for this little project and it was to get a record deal for Everette with the classic jazz label Bluenote Records. In matter of fact Bruce Lundvall, president of Bluenote, signed Everette to his label actually even before the 101 North album was released!
So in 1992 Bluenote releaed Everette’s eponymous solo debut see picture above , produced by George Duke, to great success. Soon after he played at the Montreaux Jazz Festival with his long time buddy George Duke whom actually played on every Everette album until he left us and the other way around. Everette also began weekly appearances on the Arsenio Hall Show. Now things really began to happen he made a apperance on the “Sax by the Fire” album by John Tesh which led to appearing on the Entertainment Tonight show and on the new theme for the Soul Train show. In the years to follow he released his second solo album, picture below, “Common Ground” and touring and recording with dosens of r&b and jazz artists.
Last album in his own name came in 2009 called “First Love” and this album stands out much more than all of his previously ones in that way it’s not so much smooth jazz/r&b orientated but more straight ahead jazz orientated. His latest project is what we would call a power trio along with guitarist Chuck Loeb and keyboardist Jeff Lorber, picture below, and they call it Jazz Funk Soul.
In 1997 he released a, you might say, “concept album” thou it wasn’t his concept from the beginning! Am i making you confused now? Ok the original idea/concept came from soul icon Marvin Gaye whom in 1971 realesed his most popular and beloved called “What’s Going On”, . picture below.
An album which is political, a bit dark, at the same time christian. Short background story…Marvin was the no 1 male sexsymbol at the legendary Detroit born label Motown a “title” he was fed up with. He began looking around noticed a lot of racism, veterans coming back from Vietnam treated like crap by the auhorites/government. He demanded that Motown let him do this otherwise he wouldn’t record at all!! The album became a huge success needless to say. Back to Everette since he deciced to rerecord the entire album but in a more like positive mood with jazz/gospel arrangements.
If you ask me, got all his records, this by far his best one just like it was Marvins…as you probably already guessed the song i’ve choosed is from this cover album. You might think it’s very lame of me to pic a cover as today’s song but not my fault that Everette did such great job recording it! The song is called “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)”.
Enjoy your listening!!
Tags: #worldofslickmusic #everetteharp #houston #texas” #northtexasstateuniversity #losangeles #teenamarie #anitabaker #georgeduke #capitolrecords #101north #bluenoterecords #brucelundvall #montreauxjazzfestival #johntesh #arseniohallshow #entertainmenttonight #soultrain #marvingaye #detroit #motown #jazzfunksoul #chuckloeb #jefflorber