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Jeff Golub: Temptation

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Jeff Golub

Jeff Golub’s Temptation marks some new collaborations for the smooth-jazz guitarist. It’s his first album for the Narada label, and it also represents his first time working with top smooth-jazz producer Paul Brown. What hasn’t changed is Golub’s nuanced, bluesy guitar voice. Golub chooses notes carefully and expresses himself eloquently and without flash, as on the pensive ballad “Just for You” and the dark-hued title track. He opens the album with the soulful party tune “Uptown Express” and then tips his hat to Wes Montgomery, one of his primary influences, with “On the Wes Side,” which finds his thoughtful guitar work bathed in atmosphere. Golub calls New York home, and the slinky and sultry “Metro Cafe” captures the vibe of the city at night. He delivers tough, gritty playing on “Take Me Home,” a saucy number spiced with horns. Temptation’s only misstep is “Cream and Sugar,” where featured saxophonist Euge Groove and Golub never quite click. Groove seems an unnecessary addition as he mostly just doubles the melody and the tune is burdened with a distracting, slapping beat. Golub gives a fine performance with plenty of attitude and it’s a shame the arrangement doesn’t allow him to shine as he does everywhere else on the album.