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Don Harvey

Light Shines Through (Freedom)

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., May 18, 2012

Phases & Stages

Don Harvey

Light Shines Through (Freedom)

Drummer Don Harvey has done time in the original Storyville and Ian McLagan & the Bump Band, among others, but now he's making some of the most interesting music of his career. Collaborating with bassist Glenn Fukunaga, guitarist Kevin McKinney of Soulhat, trumpeter Ephraim Owens, and keyboardist/accordionist/co-composer Stefano Intelisano, Harvey paints vivid instrumental landscapes. "Yasmin" finds a sweet spot between klezmer and tango, led by Intelisano's squeezebox and David Broza's wordless chants, while "Record High" mutates the melody of "What Child Is This" into a lush journey that stands with the best of ECM Records. "Whirl" moves toward jazz fusion as Owens' busy horn interacts with guest David Grissom's viscous guitar and Intelisano's nimble piano. The title track mixes Ruthie Foster's moans into atmospheric slow-jam funk, while "Between Lightning" floats guitar, trumpet, and Hammond organ over a virtual credit roll. Harvey drives the music with his traps, never indulging in solos or gimmicks. Not quite jazz or rock, not really New Age, Light Shines Through occupies its own space.

***

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