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Kim Waters: I Want You: Love in the Spirit of Marvin

Kim Waters has to be commended for attempting a project of Marvin Gaye-inspired songs. Not actual Marvin Gaye songs, mind you, but songs that Marvin may have been inspired to write today if were still alive and a smooth jazz saxophonist. See? It would have been easy for Waters, whose prior CD featured Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” as a smooth jazz single, to duplicate the efforts of many of his smooth brethren with yet another cover project.

OK, Waters (or his record label) couldn’t resist with smoldering covers of “Distant Lover” and “I Want You,” the latter with vocalist Vivian Green. There’s also the double-take title of “Let’s Get on It.” That song and “Groove With Me” are the best examples of Waters’ easy way with hooks and the layering of his saxophone sounds. In other words, quintessential Kim Waters. That means ear-catching smooth jazz with plenty of playing to show off his skills.

But Marvin Gaye? Not especially. Nothing to recall the party-vibe of “Got to Give It Up,” “Sexual Healing” or “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).” This CD has the distinction of being both an ill-conceived project and one of Waters’ best in recent years. Weird.

Originally Published