A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Z

Harbor Lights (album)

Bruce’s debut record with a solo credit. His band at this point is effectively a trio with guests, with John Molo on drums and the Yellowjackets’ Jimmy Haslip on bass.

Released: April 6 1993

Harbor Lights, 1993
Harbor Lights, 1993

Guests: Jerry Garcia, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis.

Chart position: #46 US

  1. Harbor Lights
  2. Talk of the Town
  3. Long Tall Cool One
  4. China Doll
  5. Fields of Gray
  6. Rainbow’s Cadillac
  7. Passing Through
  8. The Tide Will Rise
  9. What a Time
  10. Pastures of Plenty

 

Personnel:

Bruce Hornsby (piano, accordion, organ, vocals), Jimmy Haslip (bass), John Molo (drums), Pat Metheny (guitar, sitar, rhythm guitar), John Bigham (rhythm guitar, guitar), Laura Creamer (vocals), Jean McClain (vocals), Dave Duncan (Midi), Jeff Lorber (loops, programming), Branford Marsalis (soprano sax, horns.), Will Ross (rhythm guitar), Phil Collins (bongos, vocals), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Tony Berg (guitar chords), Wayne Pooley (guitar chords), John McLaughlin Williams (violin), Laura Roelofs Park (violin), Beverly K. Baker (viola), William Comita (cello), Lamont Coward (percussion), John Dearth (horns.), Glenn Wilson (horns.), Jerry Garcia (guitar), Bonnie Raitt (vocals), Debbie Henry (vocals), George A. Gailes III (horns.), Roy Muth (horns.), Tim Streagle (horns.), George Harple (French horns), Philip Koslow (French horns), Adam Lesnick (French horns), Alan B. Paterson (French horns)

 

Reviews:

All Music review: Leaving behind the Range, Bruce Hornsby trades heartland rock for a cooler, jazzier sound with Harbor Lights, an album that nonetheless retains his affinity for sincere portraits of American life, love, and heartache. The title track is a humid, celebratory song that evokes a romantic summer evening in the South, setting the stage for a collection of humanistic songs. If the album has an underlying theme, it’s the necessity of seeing yourself and the ones you love through the hard times as well as the good. The purely upbeat songs, like Rainbow’s Cadillac and What a Time, are counterbalanced by the sober Fields of Gray and The Tide Will Rise, and the cultural commentary of Talk of the Town. The music is uniformly excellent, with Hornsby’s piano work blending seamlessly into the rich arrangements. Each song usually ends with an extended instrumental section, but these flow naturally instead of feeling like tacked-on jam sessions. And Hornsby isn’t just showing off here, as he lets other voices, like Branford Marsalis’ sax and Pat Metheny’s guitar, get their say. In later albums, Hornsby’s focus on music would tend to overtake his lyrical content, but Harbor Lights marks the point at which he found the right balance between virtuosic playing and personal storytelling.

 

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