Time For Love – Edison Herbert

From the age of 12 Herbert [Edison] knew he wanted to be a musician. While studying classical piano at Yorkshire School of Music he taught himself guitar.  This led Herbert to being awarded a scholarship to complete his graduate music studies at The Guildhall School of Music & Drama. While performing with the Guildhall Big Band he worked with Randy Brecker at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and later The Jazz Warriors.

In 2016, Herbert was selected to compete on the Sky Arts TV Show Guitar Star. Herbert grabbed the opportunity to perform with the TV shows judges Lianne La Havas and guitar legend George Benson who today remains as his mentor and friend.

Press release

That link to George Benson as mentor is recognizable from the start of track one, ‘Why Not?’ The guitar playing is clean with plenty of room in which the notes can breathe. The piano playing from Sean Hargreaves matches that of Edison Herbert and the drumming keeps everything very neat and tidy. It is the Boris Gardiner version of ‘I Wanna Wake Up With You’ that I am most familiar with and this cover does not deviate too much from the original and is played in a similar vein to the opening track. ‘Changes’ has a piano and guitar opening in a slow waltz style. There are some nice guitar runs on this track and once I had put my headphones on, I was able to discern the sound of Neville Malcolm on bass, the tone of which is deep and rich. There is a good piano section in the second half of the number, which provides a nice counterpoint to Edison Herbert’s guitar.

‘Time For Love’ is the first of the vocal tracks on the album. Paul Lee has a good warm toned, soulful voice and Edison Herbert on guitar and Neville Malcolm on bass adds the right blend of lines so as not to overpower the vocalist. ‘You Know’ sees a change in bass player with Derrick Taylor stepping forward on this gently swinging track with a slight injection of tempo and glimpses of country. ‘In Your Eyes’, written by Michael Masser, is another slow burner with nice guitar playing in the smooth jazz style. Unfortunately, for me, it lacks emotional connection: it is too smooth for my taste.

‘Is She Is She Not’ features the vocals of Richard McKoy and, like track five, is soulful in delivery with added backing vocals giving a welcome variation. ‘E’s Train’ opens with some nice crisp drum work and equally likeable guitar playing. I would have to say that, for me, this is the best track on the album. The penultimate album track is another slow burner in ‘Just Because’. It is very mellow and well played, which is as much as can be said for the final track ‘To Make You Feel My Love’.

Those of you that like smooth, soulful jazz will like Time For Love. It would be a great album for late night listening and for creating an intimate mood. For me, as with most smooth jazz that is sent my way, it lacks emotional energy. There is no doubt that Edison Herbert is a good guitarist and he has selected the right musicians to play alongside him but I should like to hear Edison’s voice; not the 1980s voice of George Benson.

Musicians: Edison Herbert – guitar, additional Keyboard tracks 5,9,10; Neville Malcolm – bass all tracks except 5; Sean Hargreaves – piano; Pete Adam Hill – drums; Derrick Taylor – bass track 5; Paul Lee – vocals track 4; Richard Mckoy – vocals track 7; Noreen Stewart – backing vocal track 7; Edison Herbert – backing vocal track 7.

Tracklist: 1 Why Not? 2. I Wanna To Wake Up With You. 3. Changes. 4 Time For Love (featuring Paul Lee). 5. You Know. 6. In Your Eyes. 7. Is She Is She Not (featuring Richard McKoy). 8. E’s Train. 9. Just Because. 10. To Make You Feel My Love.

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