Bernie Williams Hits One Out of the Ballpark

Nov 1, 2003 12:00 PM, By Gary Eskow


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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. Bernie Williams, the Yankee center fielder for the past eight years, recently released The Journey Within, his debut smooth jazz CD on GRP. Rookie jitters and inexperience are evident: Bernie never quite lets loose the way a more seasoned player would, but, all in all, he hangs with the all-star cast that producer Loren Harriet surrounded him with.

“We put Bernie in a position where he'd have to rise to the level of his teammates' talent,” said Harriet. Working out of Globe Studios in Manhattan, Harriet and a pair of engineers, Danny Bernini and Talley Sherwood, recorded and mixed the entire album in four weeks. “Bernie learned the recording and mixing processes very quickly,” said Harriet. “He's the sweetest guy in the world, but he's also very intense. Once he realized how much fixing-up work Pro Tools can do, he wanted to edit out every noise he didn't like and 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 first single off of the album.

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