Nate Harasim is obviously the shining light of smooth jazz. Last year I reviewed his debut album Next In Line (2007) and prognosticated his splendid future. One year later I reported about his commercial success on NuGroove Music with his second album Love's Taken Over (2008). In between a short period Nate presents his third endeavor, a collaboration with vocalist Deborah Connors called Reminisce (2008). Deborah was one of the top vocal coaches in Chicago, and had been producing and writing jingles, commercials, and songs for film and TV shows. Her debut album was Midnight Affair, settled in the Dance genre.

The fusion of these great talents was initiated by NuGroove Records President David Chackler to inaugurate the new mesmerizing project called De'Nate'. The project is supported by Mel Brown (bass), Darren Rahn (sax), and other label mates.

Indulge into memories. Reminisce is a contemplative tune about personal keepsakes. A melody fading in and away performed with love by Gordon James (trumpet), Nate and Deborah.

Deborah Connors put much of her own impressions and experience into this album. All You Are To Me is a good example for this kind of process.

Sweet Dreams was originally released by the Eurhythmics (1983), a stellar duo of singer Annie Lennox and keyboardist Dave Stewart. It was the commercial and musical breakthrough of this formation and Dave's merits to introduce the sound of synthesizer (Oberheim OB1 and EDP Wasp) into Pop music. Nate comments: "The original was so hot, that it was a challenge at first to reproduce this track with the De'Nate' sound, yet pay respect to the original. Since I like a good challenge, I went for it. Another factor in choosing the song was Deb's voice. Need I say more?" De'Nate" transfer the original to another level melting in their own personalities.

Featured artist on the sweet song Miss'n You is guitarist Michael Powell. Michael is specialized in vocal albums. On his roster are artists like Anita Baker, Oleta Adams and Jody Watley. He is also a regular sideman and producer for Deborah.

Let Your Body Move presents Darren Rahn (sax) and Frank Selman (guitar), who deliver the instrumental note into this song. While the song is in the first part more on the Pop side, these musicians and Nate transfer the theme into some Salsa movement in the style of Gloria Estefan.

A further highlight of this album is Quincey Jones' Secret Garden.  “Talk about a challenge, at least for me anyway. Nate wanted to cover the song and again, the track that he produced was incredible!!!!! As I listened to the original version written by Quincy Jones, El DeBarge, R. Temperton and G. Seidah, I thought to myself, 'OK... this is an awesome tune, classically done and by all male vocalists - Barry White, James Ingram and more. The lyrics are geared towards a man wanting to experience a woman's ‘Secret Garden.’ A very passionate and personal expression of the lyrical content so, of course, my first thought was how in the world can I pull this off? As I listened, it came to me quite abruptly! Do the song as a duet, share the experience of The Secret Garden. Instead of it being a one-way conversation, turn it into a conversation between two people who want to experience this passion together. We brought in Maurice Mahon and his voice and expressive abilities worked perfectly.”

Darren Rahn showcases his perfect skills as flutist and sax player on So Sexy framing Deborah's sultry vocals. Darren is currently an in-demand sideman with an impressing repertoire. He crossed my way on albums like Jay Soto's Stay Awhile, Ross Krutzinger's Last Days Of Spring, Bobby Wells' Bayside, Michael Manson's Up Front or Dave Sereny's Take This Ride.

The album is finished with I Can Take You There. A song revealing the high potential of Deborah's collaboration with Nate Harasim.

One never knows what happens when a female Pop vocalist is performing with a jazz instrumentalist. In this case it's a kind of miracle. Deborah comments: "I think I can speak for both of us when I say that the whole experience of writing and recording this album together was incredible. We just ‘get’ each other musically and work together with such ease. It's beautiful!" We can fully agree.



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  • Album information:

    Title: Reminisce
    Artist: Denate
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:37:32
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: nuGroove Records

    01 Reminisce (Featuring Gordon James) [4:39]
    02 All You Are To Me (Featuring Mel Brown, Frank Selman) [3:02]
    03 Sweet Dreams [3:54]
    04 Miss'n You (Featuring Michael Powell) [4:03]
    05 Let Your Body Move (Featuring Mel Brown, Darren Rahn, Frank Selman) [3:47]
    06 You Are My Everything (Featuring Bob Madsen) [3:15]
    07 Still Be Strong (Featuring Mel Brown) [3:39]
    08 Secret Garden (Featuring Mel Brown, Maurice Mahon, Frank Selman) [3:24]
    09 So Sexy (Featuring Darren Rahn) [4:37]
    10 I Can Take You There [3:11]