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Kim Waters: In the Name of Love

Saxophonist Kim Waters celebrates 15 years as a recording artist with In the Name of Love. The CD combines great performances, strong original material and choice cover tunes. His musical prowess bountifully overflows on dance grooves such as R. Kelly’s “Step in the Name of Love,” “In Deep” and a remix of “The Ride” from Someone to Love You, Waters’ previous CD. Additionally, he collaborates with guitar whiz Chuck Loeb for some involved interplay on “Cross My Heart.”

Even with all the hot jamming, Waters makes a point of paying homage to some of smooth jazz and R&B’s influential predecessors, either through cover tunes or stylistic choices. Waters does an updated version of Barry White’s classic “Love’s Theme” and rekindles Grover Washington Jr.-like chops on “For the Groove in You.” As you can guess from the CD title, romance is not forgotten especially on the sultry ballads “All I Wanna Do (Is Please You) and “Alone With You.”

For Tha’ Hot Club Waters plays keyboards and coproduces with noted mixer/ producer Dave “Davey D” Darlington and Shanachie’s Danny Weiss. The CD is the latest in Shanachie’s successful series of discs that retool recent pop, R&B and hip-hop tunes into a synthesis of jazz, hip-hop and dance that’s certain to get parties going. Sexy choruses, enticing rhythms and cool jazz swirl together to stimulate the vibe of a bumpin’ club. It may be just a concept CD, but real musicians have put down some wicked blends of blasting hip-hop and grooving jazz.

Barry Denealion’s trumpet boldly resounds as Wayne Bruce’s funky guitar licks set an irresistible foundation on Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” Wyclef Jean’s “Party to Damascus” is done with extraordinary flair, bridging the gulf between East and West through Chieli Minucci’s mystical acoustic-guitar playing and Dequina Moore’s soulful vocals. In the classic remix mode, Barry White’s “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby” vividly comes alive with David Mann’s sultry tenor. Add versions of 50 Cent’s “In da Club,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Pharrell Williams’ “Frontin'” and Chingy’s “Right Thurr,” and you have full-on party disc.

Originally Published