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Alan Hewitt Project): Noche de Pasion

Keyboardist/composer/producer Alan Hewitt steps out as a leader on Noche de Pasion (215), a collection of tunes that are sure to appeal to smooth-jazz radio programmers. Some of the tracks feature well-known smooth-jazz artists; Hewitt’s keyboards combine well with Euge Groove’s saxophone on the Latin-flavored title track, and Jonathan Butler offers wordless vocalizing, guitar and other instruments on his composition “Sweet Thing.” The anthemic “Love Feeds the Fire,” which Hewitt cowrote with Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White, is a big, soaring production featuring a strong star turn by saxophonist Michael Lington, but Hewitt stumbles on “U Touch Me”; saxophonist Mindi Abair’s tuneless performance doesn’t match the graceful Latin rhythm.

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