Saxophonists Kirk Whalum and Michael Brecker lend a helping hand on singer Kevin Mahogany’s ballad album. It’s a romantic session with piano trio and expressive melodies.
Mahogany experiences a few pitch problems on the title track; the arrangement leaves his voice out front and naked. Bass and drums sit out that one, and the result is one of vulnerability for the singer; not an uncommon event when the topic of romance comes along. Elsewhere, his husky baritone voice blends well with the piano trio and saxophones. "Lush Life," the other exception, finds vocalist and pianist in a serious moment, keeping the romantic fires burning in a pared-down setting.
Mahogany is at his best belting out the blues message, as he does with Michael Brecker’s help on Lyle Lovett’s "I Know You Know." The saxophonist returns for "May I Come In?" with a confident air that adds a swagger to the steps of the ballad. Mahogany relates the lyrics’ apologetic message, leaving no doubts about the meaning. James Taylor’s expressive ballad "Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" serves to demonstrate Mahogany’s main strength: telling stories from the heart in a convincing manner. Keeping up with the romantic mood of the album, Kilson accompanies "Everything I Have is Yours" with hands on the drums. The piano trio and vocalist have assembled this romance album with care, and the result is a volume of stories that serve as the optimal candlelight dinner aura.