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Bass X: Heir Wave

Bass X offers a collection of light but likable smooth-jazz tunes on Heir Wave (Liquid 8). The group is led by producer/artists Larry Hubbard, Tim Gant, and Michael White, in collaboration with numerous musicians and singers, and they’ve created a series of R&B-inflected songs that would be welcome on smooth-jazz radio. “Vonnie” is a pretty, gentle piano-sax ballad, while the rhythmic “As It Is” features a catchy piano melody punctuated by horn hits, and the piano-led, vocal-accented “Rainy Day,” has a bright, happy feel that belies the song title. Several of the vocal tracks are saddled with too-breathy female singers and so-so lyrics, but “Baby, I’m Ready,” which is sung by White, is a very nice R&B ballad. The album’s standout track is “PR Too!” which features top session bassist Michael Manson. There’s nothing especially original about Bass X’s approach, but smooth-jazz fans will undoubtedly warm to this album.

Originally Published