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Kim Waters: Someone To Love You

Saxophonist Kim Waters’ knack for conjuring up radio-friendly tunes has garnered him much success and made him a smooth-jazz staple. His latest release includes solid contributions from guitarist-producer Chuck Loeb, guitarist Wayne Bruce, vocalist Eric Sanders, drummer Gregory Grainger, keyboardist/ programmer Dave Darlington and others, and it shows no signs of Waters deviating from a hit-making formula. Then again, taking risks has never been the focus of Waters’ music.

With that in mind, Someone to Love You is a mix of mediocrity and sparkling moments. Half of Waters’ new tracks are sultry and provide a sensual atmosphere for amorous listeners (the saxophonist has the romantic stuff down to a science). “In the Mood,” an easy grooving melody with intoxicating soprano and soothing backup vocals, is by far the most palatable selection in this mode. But Waters dips into the love well far too frequently, and his predictability produces some mundane results.

Still, mildly upbeat, urban-oriented tunes such as “Waterfall” and “The Ride” redeem the CD, showcasing the bandleader’s talent for playing light-funk jams fluidly.

Further enhancing things the album is “In the House,” a bonus remix featuring Waters on alto with Joe Sample playing keyboards. Here, the saxophonist truly rises to the occasion with stellar playing and at times resembles the late, great Grover Washington Jr. If he had only done that for all of Someone to Love You.

Originally Published