Jesse Harris

While the Music Lasts

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Guitarist Jesse Harris' sophomore solo effort, While the Music Lasts, finds him deviating little from the thoughtful country-jazz style of his first record. Once again featuring the laid-back distorted lead guitar of Tony Scherr, the album is awash in ballads, Latin numbers, and soft rock that fans of Harris have grown accustomed to. While Harris' sensitive-guy persona, dippy lyrics, and slight voice may not appeal to everybody, the music of his band, the Ferdinandos, is tastefully rootsy and marginally edgy, and dresses up Harris' blander qualities nicely. Fans of vocalist and Harris compadre Norah Jones may be slightly disappointed that she only appears here on some background vocals, nice as they are. On the upside, Harris has brought in the big soft-focus guns of fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, who fits perfectly into the twang-jazz vibe on his two tracks. Similarly interesting are Van Dyke Parks' string arrangements peppered throughout the album.

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