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The Inside Track

Hot Corner

September 04, 2003|Lonnie White

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

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What: "The Journey Within," Music CD.

Artist: Bernie Williams.

Label: Grp Records.

Price: $18.98

New York Yankee center fielder Bernie Williams is a classically trained acoustic and electric guitarist and his debut CD flows like an easy Sunday afternoon walk in a park.

Williams' collection of original instrumentals and covers of Billy Joel and Kansas songs makes for a great album.

The album is a mixture of jazz, classical, pop, Brazilian and the Latin rhythms of Williams' Puerto Rican heritage.

Williams not only played lead and rhythm guitar, he also composed seven songs on the CD, which features guest stars such as salsa great Ruben Blades, keyboardist David Benoit, jazz banjo master Bela Fleck and salsa legend Gilberto Santa Rosa.

The first single, a remix of "Just Because" featuring Benoit, gets the album off to a smooth start and Williams' tribute to his late father, "Para Don Berna," is the CD's most heartfelt track.

Williams does an impressive job on "Dust in the Wind" and "And So It Goes," but the album really hits its groove on a couple of smooth Latin-flavored numbers, the lively "La Salsa En Mi," and Brazilian guitarist Baden Powell's "Samba Novo."

"The Journey Within" is full of music that puts you in a good mood -- even if you're not a Yankee fan.

-- Lonnie White

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