Inner Voice

Stuart Hart

Mother West Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


I am not a heartless person but this has to be said: regardless if guitarist Stuart Hart's mother was killed by a drunk driver in 1986, this is absolutely a great CD.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I've been away from this genre, New Age, for 11 years when my friends and I drooled over the Chick Corea Elektric Band. The drool returned for this CD as the musicians assembled for this CD, though they differ from song to song, scorch their parts to CD. Only guitarist Stuart Hart provides the constant, the sole source of unity from start to finish of this instrumental CD.

"Running Out of Words" starts with a strong theme introduction followed by the tender saxophone of Tony Liberto. Keyboardist Evan Miller adds some smooth counter-melodies. Second track "Ernie's Over" continues the vibe with a more subtle tempo. Drummer Mark St. Pierre provides some serious comping for saxophonist Gary Thomas to solo over.

The pinnacle, and my favorite track, on this CD is "The Green Pedal." Drummer Dennis Chambers was a drumming legend before this CD. Here, in his custom role of being a studio drummer, Chambers flashes quick fills between hi-hat and snare with ghost notes on the snare thrown in for good measure. When Chambers plays a mini-solo among Hart's playing, it sounds like the two musicians were smiling throughout the entire recording session of this track.

"First Impressions" is the best example of Hart's ability when he plays dizzying runs that are in synch with the saxophone of Gary Thomas. Drummer Mark St. Pierre turns in his best performance on this track.

The overall vibe of this CD, despite the somber inspiration, is very positive. The musicianship is nothing short of stellar. The music itself is never boring, which with some instrumental CDs is the largest hurdle to overcome.

Rating: A

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© 2000 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mother West Records, and is used for informational purposes only.