If you're open to accepting a musician who's converted his comfort zone to a comfort home, you're ready Kim Waters' Rhythm and Romance, which isn't half bad as long as your expectations are modest.
Having racked up 26 years as neither the best nor the worst of mellow and soulful smooth jazz sax slingers Waters has done well for himself by meeting expectations and carved out a solid, if not necessarily spectacular career. Here on Rhythm and Romance his decades of experience in delivering the goods with an efficient set of songs designed for hot summer nights and romantic interludes.
"Bring It" is the challenge Waters lays down and for most of Rhythm and Romance he does a pretty good job of delivering. It's not exactly A Love Supreme, but within the narrow confines of the smooth sax genre, it delivers the goods. "No Sleep" is enhanced by Christi Jones' sultry, slinky vocals as Waters warbles a sexy serenade on the soprano sax. That's pretty much the game plan here: a savvy veteran lays down an abundance of funky riffs which will sound good to the ear even if it doesn't always leave a lasting impression on the brain, though there is a touch of smoky Southern soul to the statley closing ballad, "I'm Not the Only One" .
If you can't always be brilliant, at least be competent. Waters isn't so much interested in pushing the envelope as he is in delivering the goods and that is exactly what he's done here. He clearly knows what he does best and its lock it in the pocket compositions that veer into quiet storm soul and funky jams.
Waters is clearly capable of doing more to defy expectations, but this is a man who knows his audience and you can't really fault him for giving the people what they have shown they want.
Bring It, No Sleep, Rhythm and Romance, Forever Yours, Morning Star, Time Will Reveal, Smoothness, Can’t Let You Go, Heaven’s Gate, I’m Not the Only One
Kim Waters: saxophones, unspecified instruments; Dave Manley: guitars; Chris “Big Dog” Davis: keyboards, programming: James Robinson: vocals (5); Christi Jones: vocals (2)
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