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Bernie Williams Hits One Out of the Ballpark

When your status as one of baseball's top players helps you land a recording contract that most full-time artists would kill for, expect critical listening.

When your status as one of baseball’s top players helps you land arecording contract that most full-time artists would kill for, expectcritical listening. Bernie Williams, the Yankee center fielder for thepast eight years, recently released The Journey Within, hisdebut smooth jazz CD on GRP. Rookie jitters and inexperience areevident: Bernie never quite lets loose the way a more seasoned playerwould, but, all in all, he hangs with the all-star cast that producerLoren Harriet surrounded him with.

“We put Bernie in a position where he’d have to rise to thelevel of his teammates’ talent,” said Harriet. Working out ofGlobe Studios in Manhattan, Harriet and a pair of engineers, DannyBernini and Talley Sherwood, recorded and mixed the entire album infour weeks. “Bernie learned the recording and mixing processesvery quickly,” said Harriet. “He’s the sweetest guy in theworld, but he’s also very intense. Once he realized how much fixing-upwork Pro Tools can do, he wanted to edit out every noise he didn’t likeand move drum hits around. When we get around to doing the next album,he’ll be even better.”

“Just Because,” a love note for his wife, is the firstsingle off of the album.