Ronnie Laws: Harvest For The World
The idea of a jazz instrumentalist paying tribute to the Isleys' music is intriguing-it's certainly a more interesting prospect than yet another "Young Lion" playing "Round Midnight." But this album is hardly the gem it could have been. While some of the straight-up R&B cuts are decent (including "Who Loves You Better," featuring sibling Debra Laws on vocals), instrumental versions of "Harvest For The World," "So You Wanna Stay Down" and "At Your Best You Are Love" are glaring examples of "elevator muzak" at its most shameless, boring and formulaic.
As an instrumentalist, Laws fares somewhat better on "You Still Feel The Need" and "People Of Today" (a rare example of him switching to flute). Although not breathtaking, at least they involve some interpreting. But for the most part, this disappointing album isn't about interpretation-it's about throwing musical integrity to the wind and wasting your talents on embarrassing, dishonest fluff.
Record Label: Blue Note Records