Of Certain Elements, the third album from acclaimed jazz vocalist Karla Harris, it can be said that this is a place where lush contemporary comes alongside deft acoustic mainstream jazz to create the potent signature sound of this collection. Intriguingly mystical and invitingly earthy, with an aural quality all its own, the record’s tunes of varying feels – Latin, contemporary, swing, blues-inspired – showcase the velvety, dynamic range of Harris’ considerable talent to compelling effect.
Certain Elements follows up on Harris’ second release, Karla Harris Sings the Dave and Iola Brubeck Songbook, released in 2015 on Summit Records and featuring jazz all-stars Tom Kennedy on bass, drummer Dave Weckl, saxophonist Bob Sheppard and pianist/arranger Ted Howe. Harris’ vocal versions of Brubeck classics proved to be an expertly executed and well-received homage showcasing the singer’s technical chops and interpretive ability. Of the record, jazz reviewer Thomas Cunniffe wrote, “She makes these seldom-heard lyrics come alive,” and Jazziz said, “The Brubecks would be pleased.”
Harris’ new recording demonstrates evolving artistry. She leans creatively into a fuller spectrum of her gifts on Certain Elements, teaming with acclaimed producer Trammell Starks to create tracks where her authenticity and emotive power come shining through. The record’s 12 tracks feature several originals penned by the vocalist, her first outing as a songwriter, and beautifully curated cover tunes, including the album’s first single, a contemporary jazz remake of the 1960s hit “Cherish.” Harris’ “Cherish” gets lush, romantic treatment, thoughtful rhythmic variation, and nuanced delivery of those longing lyrics. Released to contemporary jazz radio mid-September, it’s generating buzz quickly. The tune’s composer, Terry Kirkman, comments that it is a “beautiful surprise” for him, and that Harris’ “rich, warm, depth throughout her range is incredible … truly inspirational.”
“A dancing tendril on the edge of flame.”… It’s a lyric from the album’s first track, a Latin-infused tune of Harris’ called “Set Sophia Free” that carries a powerful message of awakening with its world-music, spiritual vibe. Like that dancing tendril, Harris is set to light a fire within jazz fans’ hearts with Certain Elements.
October 5th, 2018 Release Date
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