Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reviewing a Producer...Nate Harasim Under The Looking Glass.

There is a common misconception that being a music critic is all about being critical. The irony of the name is our cross to bear. Smooth jazz has a similar cross with their name which is in fact a radio format and not what is normally considered a sub genre of jazz. Reviewing artists can be incredibly easy and a great deal of fun or terribly uncomfortably uncertain circumstances. In sharing a perspective on an artist one must know something about the record label that is standing behind that product, better still it is equally as important to know something about the producer. Harasim Soundesign happens to be the production company Nate Harasim operates and I suspect you will be hearing from this name on an ongoing basis.

For the uninitiated, a music producer is the sonic equivalent of a film director. In the world of contemporary instrumental jazz that walks the smoother side of the street if not the beat there are some really good producers. Nate Harasim is a great producer. Why? Simple...In an area of jazz where the difference between two or three artists handled by the same producer is razor thin at best, Harasim uses top of the line technology and off the charts enthusiasm to "listen" and cultivate a sound that makes each artist he works with uniquely different. Another incredibly impressive credential for Harasim is that he does not hide out in one area of jazz churning out releases that are so overly compression ridden that they sound as though they have been sanitized for your protection. Harasim's talent as a producer,  unlike the vast majority of his contemporaries has spread throughout five different genres of music. Most recently Independent artist Phil Denny hooked up with Harasim and has released a stellar disc entitled Crossover. A rising star and label mate Elizabeth Mis has recently dropped Breakaway which much like Denny's Crossover is enjoying serious critical acclaim. Knowing something about who put the sound together is every bit as important as the end result when considering an artist. Nate Harism is the contemporary jazz counterpart to the old Phil Spector wall of sound. Bold yet deceptively subtle with incredibly infectious flavor, be it foot to the floor funk or a ballad meant for romancing, Harasim's original music or the artists he produces can touch your heart or set your hair on fire all at the same time. An artist in every sense of the word.     

Nate Harasim is a master of growing an organic base of contemporary jazz, hip-hop flavor, and contemporary r&b to take an artist that make not have normally been given a second look and have heads spinning immediately upon release. Harasim's own Trippin N Rhythm debut Rush is developed around the idea of diverse sounds and infectious rhythms and his prolific talent has grown at an incredibly rapid pace. The idea was put to me to review producers and I think that is an incredible idea. Harasim, a Grammy nominee for his work with Dave Koz is my musical easy button in the world of contemporary instrumental jazz. Harasim is the real deal and his musical stock is an arrow pointing straight up!

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