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Nate Harasim - #Shadesofnate
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Nate Harasim - #Shadesofnate

17-05-2015, 16:45
Jazz | Smooth Jazz | R&B

Nate Harasim - #Shadesofnate

Artist: Nate Harasim
Title Of Album: #Shadesofnate
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Woodward Avenue Records
Genre: Jazz / Smooth Jazz / R&B / Pop / Hip-hop
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 192kbps / 44.1kHz / Joint-Stereo
Total Time: 69:27 min
Total Size: 93,4 MB
WebSite: Cdbaby

01 - #Harmonypark
02 - #Falln
03 - #Summertimefun
04 - #Workit
05 - #Bumpertobumper
06 - #Intheairtonight
07 - #Moonlightsonata
08 - #Ijustwanna (Remastered)
09 - #Coolbeans
10 - #Luvit
11 - #Itb'zflat
12 - #Elevatorfunk
13 - #Falln (Remix)
14 - #Ijustwanna (Remix)
15 - #Intheairtonight (Remix)

Nate Harasim’s diverse musical career has found him producing #1 airplay hits and contributing to Grammy nominated projects for major artists – but that’s just the start of the magic he can create behind the boards. Operating his thriving Michigan studio Harasim Soundesign, he works with artists in a multitude of genres – classical, hip-hop, contemporary jazz, house, R&B, etc.- and helps artists find their individual voices. Before his highly anticipated Woodward Avenue Records debut #ShadesofNate, the keyboardist released three acclaimed albums, including Rush, which was the #4 album overall on’s 2011 year end Top 50 chart. But he never felt complete freedom to explore all of his many musical loves on a single recording.

Ever the adventurer both in the studio and in his personal life, Harasim makes up for this deficiency in the most glorious, freewheeling way possible with #ShadesofNate, a generous 12 track collection (with three cool remixes) that celebrates and immerses itself in dynamic musical diversity. Fans of Harasim’s previous radio hits like “Different Kind of Love” and “Westbound” will find enough in the pocket, funky urban jazz gems to latch their heart and tapping feet to, but those are just the springboard for a set that boldly includes gritty rap/hip-hop, a wild twist on Beethoven and a unique spin on Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” which speeds the tempo just slightly and features a glorious lead vocal by his new labelmate Melina. While he’s capable of being a virtual one man band, Harasim enjoys vibing with a mix of urban jazz greats (Nils, Dave Koz, Darren Rahn), genre up and comers (Elan Trotman, Vandell Andrew) and some lesser known artists from his home state of Michigan (most prominently, rapper K-Squeeze and saxman Dr. Keith Newton).

Using a hashtag with every song title to ensure instant sharing in the “Twitterssphere,” Harasim gets off to a blazing start with a brisk stroll through “#HarmonyPark, stirring up a funky, in the pocket keyboard/sax hook with Koz and opening a spot for the track’s co-producer Nils to dazzle on electric guitar. The track is also notable as the last that the late great drummer Ricky Lawson ever played on – and the tight, intense groove is a powerful parting gift from the master. Harasim gets this sensual-sexy on with “#Falln,” creating a soulful and dreamy atmospheric ambience that serves as an hypnotic backdrop for Anna Stevenson’s lush vocals and an infectious rap by K-Squeeze. Releasing #ShadesofNate in Spring ensures that “#SummerTimeFun” is just around the corner, and Harasim ushers in the season of sunshine with a swirl of playful keyboards, jangling rhythm guitars, a buoyant bass groove and wild, party time solos by Rahn and trumpeter Lin Rountree.

Harasim’s mad skills as a producer and programmer are at full tilt on “#WorkIt,” creating a percussive hip-hop synth groove behind the powerful storytelling of rapper K-Squeeze. The keyboardist then pulls ahead in the spirited urban jazz flow, funking up again for a drive time groove and a lively, jazzy piano melody offering wide open spaces for the fresh sax energy of Vandell Andrew and some sizzling brassy fills. While the slightly faster tempo on “#InTheAirTonight” and Melina’s passionate emotional urgency build the drama, there are other textures making this an incredible cover song: Harasim’s haunting piano harmony, Nils’ lead and rhythm guitars and Harasim showing off his instrumental diversity with nylon strings. Just when we’re enjoying pop paradise, he takes us back to his classical roots on an amazing, mostly fast paced nine minute romp through Beethoven’s “#Moonlight Sonata.” And can you name another artist who can follow Beethoven with a crunch funk rap/hip hop jam with a dramatic wall of synth like “IJustWanna”? This track features K-Squeeze with another skilled rapper, Dyl.

As an artist and producer, guitarist Paul Brown has been a huge success story for Woodward Avenue Records, and he adds just the right crisp touch over the lilting cool, finger snap groove and sweet elegant piano flow on “#CoolBeans.” Elan Trotman has a blast honking his sax on the dance floor on the brassified, discofied “#LuvIt,” which Harasim follows with the cleverly titled “#ItB’zFlat,” which is all about that thick synth bass, Harasim’s jamming piano melody, dreamy ambiences and Randy Scott’s burning sax. Harasim pokes fun at a common misconception of smooth jazz by the uninitiated as “elevator music” with a snarky spoken commentary at the start of “#ElevatorFunk,” which he follows with a track that’s anything but muzak. With a production featuring the punchy sax of co-writer Dr. Keith Newton and fiery horns, Harasim digs into the blues and old school soul-jazz with spirited runs on organ and Fender Rhodes. #ShadesofNate adds a few more hues with remixes of “#Falln,” “#IJustWanna” and “#InTheAirTonight,” the latter upping to full dance mode and including more of Nils’ electric guitar.

Harasim says that his frustration with the music business led him to call it quits for a time – and that is was the combined encouragement of Koz, Rahn and Woodward Avenue Records President Mark Nordman that brought him back to the groove. After listening to this masterpiece of musical adventure, in all its eclectic craziness, fun and melodic and rhythmic glory, it’s likely that the next time he contemplates such a retreat, he’ll have a massive fan base also to contend with. Harasim is an artist in every sense of the world, forging an original identity via an unconventional but bright and visionary path that shows us more musical possibilities than anyone who fits into the “urban jazz” category has ever imagined before. – Jonathan Widran

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