As musicians who experienced frustrations in their attempt to attain respect and notoriety, Scott Allen and Earl Harris may have adopted the old cliche "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Just as appropriate for their journey would have been "patience is a virtue." The road for bassist/trumpeter Allen and guitarist/vocalist Harris began about a dozen years ago with the soul/funk band Back 2 Back, the fruits of which were few. After trying to rekindle the band with another lineup, the results remained the same. But even after Back2Back became defunct, the strong bond between Allen and Harris continued, leading them to launch their own production and musical endeavors. Calling themselves 3rd Scenario, the duo worked alongside Impromp2, Bebe Winans and others.
Building their reputation working with other artists, Allan and Harris now open a new chapter with their 3rd Scenario's debut on Spectra Jazz, It’s About Time. It's About Time finds Allen and Harris with various musical tricks up their sleeve. Their intriguing variety of jazz induced funk, soul, fusion and world music offers plenty of crossover potential for radio. Harris echoes George Benson with his fluid soulful scat and guitar on “Make It Up.” “Lazy Bird” lends some experimentation with a breakdown of whirlwind guitar and bass crescendos and vocal scats. Clocking in at a minute and a half, the intense “Syria” is soaked in Middle Eastern drones and auto tuned voices (with proper effect in this instance). The softer, acoustic edged “Sao Paulo” floats effortlessly in a Bossa Nova vibe with Allen’s muted trumpet and Harris’ flamenco guitar. “Rain Forest” with its clicking percussion, flute, trumpet, guitar and scat weaves a colorful fusion tapestry. Opening with a vinyl scratched sample, “Make Me Wanna” exercises classy funk grooves with acoustic piano taking the lead role.
It took years to get here, but It’s About Time shows that Harris and Allen have arrived with a sure critical success. Their cutting edgesound appears to be several steps ahead of many of their smoother jazz counterparts. Perhaps the more appropriate cliché for them now is “slow and steady wins the race.”
Other Notable Tracks: The title track and “Half Past 4 (Theme from Who)”.
Vocals: 3.0 stars
Lyrics: 3.0 stars
Music: 3.5 stars
Production: 3.5 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended
By Peggy Oliver