“The music on ‘Set Apart’ conveys my belief that, in this life, there is nothing you cannot accomplish with God [in it]. Sometimes, I just hear and feel the music that comes to me and I just start moving to the beats in my head. I digest the music and then put out what I’m hearing and continue to build the energy.” says Harold. “My textured approach on the sax is inspired by the way gospel vocals are recorded.” He later goes on to say, “The best part of creating ‘Set Apart’ and having the opportunity to get out there is that I now have a chance to explain my full story through the music.”
Harold Rapp III was born in New Orleans as a second generation PK (Preacher’s Kid) and was raised in the church. His love for the sax came at age 10 and he started his career as a performer by 12. His influence comes from his early years living in Germany as a child of a military family. Later, he moved back to the US and spent several years on bases in Louisiana and California before finally settling on Colorado. Though he grew up listening to gospel and performed at the church, his father planted a seed by exposing him to various types jazz, including smooth jazz. His chief influence growing up was gospel performer, Angela Christie. While attending college at the Lamont School of Music at Denver University and Metro State, he began listening to urban saxophonist like Gerald Albright, who later became his mentor, and David Sanborn. The road wasn’t always easy for him as he ran into many bumps, edgy twists and turns on his road to becoming a recording artist and renowned performer. It was only by his faith in God and a very driven determination that he triumphed gracefully over adversity.
Harold has performed with artists such as Hazel Miller, Selina Albright (daughter of saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Gerald Albright), The Hot Lunch Band, Jessie Campbell from the Voice, George Huff from American Idol, Andrew Woolfolk of Earth, Wind & Fire, Timothy Wright, Israel Houghton and Grammy Award winning Gospel artist Kirk Franklin.
Harold Rapp III’s Set Apart is an extremely jazzy affair. The project is a showcase of Harold Rapp III’s musical prowess and it is apparent from the first track that this is a soulful album. The overall sound of the project is modern jazz and the sophistication on the project is felt especially on tracks like It Was On My Heart and Never Alone. One of the Harold Rapp III’s greatest strengths is the ability to seamlessly transition between sounds and vibes. This helps Harold Rapp III to maintain the listeners attention as he showcases his different musical abilities. Reflections is the perfect song on the album for driving and thinking to. The chord progression and transitions on the record are very skillful. My personal favorite record on the album is Nu Soul which sees Harold Rapp III mesh sounds like hip hop, jazz, and R&B.
Overall, Set Apart is an electrifying project that provides listeners with plenty to be excited about. The music and performance on the project helps to set Harold Rapp III apart as an extremely talented musician. His immeasurable skills are put on full display as listeners make their way through the smooth track listing. From the extended notes of the saxophone to the incorporated percussive methodologies, Set Apart is a masterful work from a strong musician.
Pros: Instrumentation, Smooth transitions, masterful saxophone ability
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