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Marion Meadows: Dressed to Chill

Saxophonist Marion Meadows-he of the tailor-made suits, flying dreadlocks and a body honed by years of competitive bicycle racing-is an arresting figure at live shows and celebrated for his sexy and romantic moves. He’s got some new material for his shows with his 10th CD, but there isn’t much here that’s too different from his last CD, the superb Player’s Club-which probably is just fine with his fans.

Meadows certainly has the cool, soulful and smooth vibe down pat, on display once more on tunes such as “Coco Flow” and a cover of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” His smooth-as-butter soprano rises mellifluously over Mel Brown’s bass and cowriter Michael Broening’s repetitive and often undistinguished drum programming. But when Meadows mixes in the tenor on “Just My Style” and “Bounce,” the music gets interesting. Also adding interest is guitarist Chuck Loeb, whose tasty guitar solos enliven “Remember Me,” and Thano Sahnas of the fusion band Turning Point, whose guitar adds poignancy to “Scent of a Woman.” (As far as I can tell, the song has nothing to do with the Al Pacino movie.) In addition, young Brazilian guitarist Caji Da Bahia spices up “1000 Dreams” with his exquisite vocalese.

Originally Published