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Boney James: Send One Your Love

Boney James is late to the concept CD, but the dreamy saxophonist with the full-bodied sound certainly nails it. It’s a cohesive, slow-jam vibe perfect for cuddling. James is respectful enough of his fans that although he covers six worthy songs, he also wrote four new tunes. Here, James sets his sights on the ’70s, a decade of disco and power funk but also sensual standouts.

A true crossover artist, James keeps urban adult-contemporary fans in mind with the new “Wanna Show U Sumthin'” with vocalist Sue Ann Carwell, and James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” featuring new R&B vocalist Quinn. But this is mostly for his instrumental fans, with romantic tunes like Barry White’s “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby”; Stevie Wonder’s “Send One Your Love” (James’ soprano sounding marvelous, in addition to the live orchestration); the Brothers Johnson’s “I’ll Be Good to You”; and “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart),” famously performed by the Stylistics, as well as the duo of Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross. James makes the latter a dark-hued but optimistic delight. The most intriguing song, though, is John Klemmer’s famous “Touch.” While keeping the song’s melodic appeal intact, James also throws in various cool licks.

The other new tunes are all instant classics. “Hold on Tight” is a slow-burning ballad with strings, while “City of Lights” is a melancholy piece that pays homage to the subject of its title, the romantic city of Paris. Finally, “Butter” is a spare and elegant number that is as smooth as its moniker suggests.

Originally Published