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Impromp2: The Definition of Love

In 1995, the duo of singer/trumpeter Johnny B and rapper/singer Sean E. Mac released a sumptuous CD, You’re Gonna Love It, one of the first efforts by Motown’s MoJazz label. The label is long gone, but the duo called Impromp2 returns for its third CD with The Definition of Love (Big3). At turns cool and jazzy, then streetwise and lightly funky, Impromp2 strives to keep smoldering the cool R&B/jazz vibe pioneered by Miles Davis.

Imagine an update of a 1960s beatnik club filled with finger-snapping hipsters: That’s what you get with “Mocha Soul,” with actress Kim “Tootie” Fields throwing in some spoken-word poetry and Mac injecting some rap and Marvin Gaye-like soul. “When Will Things Change” is a bookend to Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” complete with protest lyrics in a musical bridge. Plenty of guests stop by: Boney James solos on “Without You,” a contemporary gospel song; George Duke adds keyboards to “Is It Cool?,” a love song that politely asks for permission to hold hands.

Impromp2 isn’t out to change the world; all they’re asking for is a little peace, love and understanding. Of course, the message is best served with a bottle of wine and a roaring fire.

Originally Published