Bruce Von Stiers
A short time ago I reviewed the first album by Marilyn Harris. It was a pretty decent album. Marilyn's vocals and piano are really good. It has been a few years since that first album. Marilyn has released a few more since then. She has a brand new album that is hitting the store shelves. This one is titled Future Street and features a bunch of great songs. The album is being released on Wrightwood Records.
The album was produced by Mark Wolfram. It is a cooperative effort by Marilyn and Mark Winkler. Together they wrote 5 of the 12 songs on the album. Marilyn wrote another 5 by herself.
There are several really good musicians who share their talents on the album. Dan Higgins plays the tenor and alto Saxes on the album as well as the flute on one song. The flugelhorn duties were shared by Warren Luening and Wayne Bergeron. There is also Bob Leatherbarrow, Pete Christlieb, Andy Martin and Bill Liston. Mark Wolfram and Mark Winkler also provide vocals on one song apiece.
The first song on the album has a distinct jazz singer feel to it. The title of the song is Dorothy Parker. It is about the life and times of the famous poet and short story writer. It features a great tenor sax solo by Dan Higgins.
Next is Ain't Got Nothing On You. The song is about how she holds him to a higher standard than athletes and other famous people. Guys like “Tiger Woods got nothing on you.” The song has some great horn and vibraphone music.
The title track, Future Street, is a fast paced jazz tune. It features great sax bits. The song deals with going ahead with life and moving on down the street. “Gonna live my dreams on Future Street” is the theme of the song. It made me think of the old jazz standards that had great vocals.
Sunglasses In The Rain has a Vince Guaraldi feel at the beginning. Then it moves on into a more bouncy mood. Mark Winkler provides the second half of a wonderful vocal duo on the song. It's about two lovers together in the weather.
My Dissipation is a bossa nova style song. The song deals with her misfortunes in life. Then the album slows down again with a smoky torch song called In A Lonely Place. This one features Andy Martin with a great trombone solo. Express speeds things back up. Mark Wolfram helps out on the vocals for this one.
A foot tapping tune, Insomniac, has a bunch of horn bits amongst Marilyn's great piano and vocals. Lost In The Stars begins with a beautiful flugelhorn piece by Wayne Bergeron.
Other songs on the album are Don't Wanna Know, The Good Guys and Love Never Means Having To Say Goodbye. The Good Guys has a wonderful baritone sax solo from Bill Liston. It is a lament on the lack of really true good guys in these times of trouble. “When did the good guys start hiding things?” and “all of the heroes are gone” are a couple of the lyrics from the song.
If you like jazz singers, then Marilyn Harris is really one to be listened to. Her vocals are great and the piano seems to really like how she plays it. She has surrounded herself with a group of musicians who make the songs a pleasure to listen to. Future Street is a wonderful album and well worthy of a place in any jazz fan's collection.
To find out more about Marilyn Harris and Future Street, visit www.marilynharris.com .
© 2004 Bruce E Von Stiers