Grady Nichols: In the Fullness of Time

Saxophonist Grady Nichols combines smooth-jazz and inspirational music on the live album In the Full-ness of Time (Compendia). Originally recorded in 2001 and aired as a television special, the album features elaborate production numbers, like the soaring “Heaven Help Us All,” featuring gruff-voiced Chicago vocalist/keyboardist Bill Champlin and a gospel choir, and a soulful “Amazing Grace,” which opens with Champlin and the choir and then morphs into a jazzy workout led by Nichols and the choir. Nichols’ ballad “Awakenings” is clearly a crowd-pleaser, while the saxophonist’s melodic-yet-muscular sound is spotlighted on “Live for You,” a tune with a light reggae feel, and Nichols offers a high-energy take on the Level 42 hit “Something About You.” The album includes two standout band jams: “Oh My Soul” is a bluesy, horn-and-organ-soaked outing, and “Seasons of Change” combines Nichols’ sax with electric guitar. In the Fullness of Time includes a bonus track: the grooving midtempo tune “Tuesday Morning” that also appears on Nichols’ album Sophistication.