First Listen: Roderick Harper finds his "Heart's Desire"

(July 13, 2021) You might not know about vocalist Roderick Harper if you don’t spend a lot of time on the jazz side of town. However, those in the jazz world know all about this DC born baritone with a voice that took him to Louisiana, New York and Chicago. During that time, Harper has worked with jazz giants. I’m talking about Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton, just to name a few.

Harper emerged as a solo artist at the dawn of the new century with his debut album, the aptly named Beautiful Beginnings. That project showcased what would be a winning formula for Harper, using his rich baritone to sing jazz standards, originals and interpreting R&B tunes such as Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

(July 13, 2021) You might not know about vocalist Roderick Harper if you don’t spend a lot of time on the jazz side of town. However, those in the jazz world know all about this DC born baritone with a voice that took him to Louisiana, New York and Chicago. During that time, Harper has worked with jazz giants. I’m talking about Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton, just to name a few.

Harper emerged as a solo artist at the dawn of the new century with his debut album, the aptly named Beautiful Beginnings. That project showcased what would be a winning formula for Harper, using his rich baritone to sing jazz standards, originals and interpreting R&B tunes such as Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”

Harper’s new project, Back To Love, finds him stepping boldly into the R&B side of town. The entire album is tight, but the tune that we are featuring on this First Listen will showcase a voice that is more than ready for his R&B closeup. “Heart's Desire” is a sensual ‘Quiet Storm’ sort of jam that finds Harper expressing the hope that he has finally put away all of the superficial things that he’s done in the past to because he’s positive that he’s found the one. The lyrics reveal that depth of emotion and commitment that a man expresses when he’s ready to stop looking because he’s found everything he’s been searching for and more. Vocally, those years of jazz training have endowed Harper with impeccable vocal phrasing and time. “Heart's Desire” is a gem of a song. Check it out here.

By Howard Dukes

Roderick Harper – “Heart's Desire”

 

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