Run the Gauntlet
'Run The Gauntlet' was recorded in 1991 by Hartley C. White with Josh Silver of Type O Negative as the engineer.It was released in 1992. It was remixwd in 1999 by George Dugan, and re-released in 1999. Run The Gauntlet features Hartley C. White on all vocals (lead, bass, falsetto, voice, voice fxs) and on all instruments (all guitars, all keyboards, all drums, all percussions, kalimbas, flutes, recorders). Hartley also composed all the selections on the album. Hartley is from Kingston,Jamaica, and holds certificates from The Royal Schools of Music in England.Hartley was also a student of the Jamaican music scene in the sixties and seventies.His father, Roy White, was the President of THe Jamaican Federation of Musicians, a band leader, a saxophonist (tenor,alto, baritone) and a pioneer of Jamaican Music. Hartley's musical influences range from Billie Holiday, Laura Nyro,Gal Costa, The Rascals, Sly and The Family Stone, The Beatles, The Temptations, Pat kelly, Gil Scott-Heron, to Joni Mitchell, Joe Zawinul,John McLaughlin,Milton Nascimento, Curtis Mayfield, 10CC, and many more.Combining these varing influences with the ideas from Bruce Lee's broken rhythm and the Art of interception, Hartley came up with his own style of music, Who-pa-zoo-tic Music. Upon 'Run The Gauntlet's initial release in 1992, The Musician's Exchange said 'Musical poetry. Unique Orchestral scoring, complex time, sociopolitical words. Great production, good package includes many, many, lyrics.Highly recommended for adventrous listener. An epic. Upon it's re-release in 1999,THe Inside Connection'sRoy Abrams said in the 2000 march edition of the magazine about 'Run The Gauntlet', Described by it's author as 'a concept album about reality and dreams,'what we have here is an often moving,sometimes startlingglimpse into the mind of a deeply spiritual individual.More along the lines of an Avante-Garde work,brief snatches of spoken word poetry are sandwiched in between layers of music based pieces.I'm not sure that they can be defined as songs the way most of us define the term.The album strikes me as the work of a highly thoughful, articulate lyricist whose self performed musical accompaniment is designed to set a mood more than an actual song structure. The spoken word opener'There's Nothing Here', is followed by 'Illusions', after which'Welcome Back To Reality' opens a door into the halls of White's imagination. Certain tracks are presented as segues or medleys, augmenting the meaning of one by tying it to another.The avante - garde nature of this album may well put people off, but those whose taste run towards the exploratory will find much of what's presented here to be fascinating. Lest the wrong impression be given, White isn't one of those nose-in-the-air,I have the answer artistes, type you'd wish would wander off a high cliff. Quite the opposite, he strikes me as a down to earth personality who injected his soul into this project. Picks for the strongest tracks are 'Not So LOng Ago', a remembrance of White's native Jamaica, 'Show your teeth and Dance/I came for the Music', an ironic medley if there ever was one, 'Crossfire', where the use of gun shots as percussion works brilliantly, and the title song.