Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Warren Hill: Love Songs

Love Songs finds Warren Hill putting his saxophone spin on a number of romantic classics. This is a hit-and-miss affair, dictated mostly by the scale of melodrama in any given arrangement. Where Hill chirps and pulls off sweetly on the light, pretty pop chestnut “Fallen,” he pines in dramatic, stagy peaks on “September Morning.” His slick and overdramatized play drains all the ragged-edged magic out of Joe Cocker’s signature “You Are So Beautiful,” but a more understated tone captures the world-weary joys of Paul McCartney’s “My Love.” This dichotomy is illustrated best on a two-part “My Funny Valentine”: with part one a soft-spoken jazz read in the spirit of Chet Baker, and part two a souped-up, overslick flame out. It’s too bad that Hill misses so many opportunities here, because when he steps out of the sax idol box, the results can be stellar, as evidenced by the warm, blue ballad “At Last,” highlighted by a sax lead with underlying muscle and heart.

Originally Published