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Grover Washington, Jr.: Next Exit

AAJ Staff By

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Any Grover excursion is worth listening to and Next Exit is one of Grover's finer outings. From the Dave Brubeck "Take Five" opener featuring the golden background vocals of Fourever, he takes us on a mid tempo groove which has been covered by others but somehow this interpretation leaves you in no doubt that it's GWJ.

"Your love" featuring Nancy Wilson is already a classic radio cut. It is a modern day classic and could compare to Carmen Lundy's Invitation, Anita Baker's Rapture or Diane Schuur All caught up in love. This interchange of lead vocal with sax is similar to the early eighties cut he performed with Patti Labelle entitled "The best is yet to come."

The album has a wonderful bossa cut namely "Siempre para d'sera" which has a beautiful Carribean sound for summer. This gem sneaks out of the speakers as if another Piña Colada or Maguerita had just been ordered. Featuring Ite Jerez on trumpet, Lewis Kahn on trombone and Sergio George on piano, this track would not have been out of place on a Ray Obeido album.

On "Greene Street," fellow urban knight Ramsey Lewis drops by to add his talents to a wonderful midnight cruiser. This melter is one of the album's many highlights.

The sound that we are so familiar with is represented beautifully on track 6 "I miss home" with Grover dreaming slowly along on soprano sax to an interplay with guitarist Richard Lee Steacker. The classic vocals of Lelah Hathaway join Grover on "Love like this" which compares favourably to Anita's "Sweet Love" rendition.

There are so many wonderful tracks on this album that it is an essential addition to your own collection of you don't have it already. Fusion Jazz at its very finest and highly recommended by this veteran of the airwaves.

Whisper's lead man Levy Stubbs joins us for the dance floor classic entitled "Ain't gonna get no better" which will keep you on the floor long after your bedtime.

Track Listing: "Your Love" (with Nancy Wilson)

Personnel: Grover Washington Jr.: saxophones; Gerald Veasley & Ruben Rodriguez: bass; Ramsey Lewis & James McBride: piano; Richard Lee Steacker & Doc Powell: guitar; Nancy Wilson, Levy Stubbs & Fourever: vocals.

Title: Next Exit | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Columbia Records

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