Of Certain Elements, is the third album from acclaimed jazz vocalist Karla Harris, taking on Latin, contemporary, swing, blues-inspired song.
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’ new recording demonstrates an evolving artistry. Teaming with producer Trammell Starks to create tracks with authenticity and emotive power. The record’s 12 tracks feature several originals penned by the vocalist, her first outing as a songwriter.
“Cherish” was one of the last tracks produced for the collection, which unrolled organically over a period of years. “This project actually started in 2013.
Harris also pulls in covers of songs arranged for her over the years by close colleagues, including that 2013 track a Latin version of the Legrand/Bergman tune, “The Way He Makes Me Feel.” Harris also includes a jazz-influenced take on the Bill Withers classic “Lean on Me,” arranged by pianist Mark Simon, a close friend of Harris’ who passed away before he could finish tracking the tune. His brother, Chicago pianist Fred Simon, completed it for the recording.
The record honors other friendships made across Harris’ musical journey and features many more bright lights, from Portland, Seattle and Atlanta, including pianists Randy Porter, George Colligan, Kevin Bales, Dan Gaynor, Tyrone Jackson; bassists Sam Sims, Damian Erskine, Jeff Johnson, Neal Starkey; saxophonists Sam Skelton, Mace Hibbard; trumpeter Darren English; drummers Todd Strait, Marlon Patton, Lil’ John Roberts, Reinhardt Melz; percussionists Rafael Pereira, Bobby Torres, Carmelo Torres; guitarists Dan Baraszu, Chris Blackwell; and Trammell Starks on keyboards and programming.