We Can Do This the Easy Way Or…
UK producer/musician David Harrow is doing his part to keep funk and soulful groove alive and well. From his current base of operations in Los Angeles, Harrow has assembled an all-star team of players under his pseudonym James Hardway Collective on this new offering for the LunaticWorks artist group. Over Easy is a perfectly appropriate title for this smooth collection of laidback after-hours jams.Joining Harrow is a set of credentialed players. Bassist Greg Reeves (aka Cordovan) emerges from the LunaticWorks collective to drop down heaping globs of funk bass that give this album so much of its character. Drummer Keith Leblanc of Sugarhill Gang fame brings some old-school integrity to round out the rhythm department.
Up front on the mic are Eyedentity, the duo of husband and wife Krishna and D Booker. Both vocalists come from a lineage of jazz and funk legends. D shows range and soul with her melodious vocals while Krishna delivers a steady flow of rhymes. His voice and style are distinct from the more lethargic sounds of mainstream rap, but even so he borders on monotonous at times, saved mostly by D’s flexible accompaniment.
Though a short effort (8 tracks just under a half hour), Over Easy demonstrates a range of flavors. “This Life,” the opening song, presents a heavy dub influence. Bits of jazz, funk, electronica, latin, and hip-hop can be found throughout, with live instrumentation nicely balancing samples and loops.
James Hardway Collective delivers a short but sweet effort that’s sure to please fans of the genre. Its greatest strength is its ability to slip into the background and satisfy without demanding attention.