Kirk Whalum - Romance Language
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Kirk Whalum - Romance Language

Artist: Kirk Whalum
Title: Romance Language
Year Of Release: 2012
Label: Rendezvous Music
Genre: Jazz / Vocal Jazz / Smooth Jazz
Quality: Mp3 / 192kbps
Total Time: 54:56 min
Total Size: 101 MB
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Tracklist
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01. They Say It's Wonderful
02. Dedicated To You
03. My One And Only Love
04. Lush Life
05. You Are Too Beautiful
06. Autumn Serenade
07. Almost Doesn't Count
08. I Wish I Wasn't
09. I Wanna Know
10. Spend My Life With You

The 1963 Impulse! Records LP John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman helped to redefine the renowned jazz saxophonist by pairing him with a singer on a collection of standards, showing that Coltrane wasn't (or wasn't only) an avant-gardist bent on playing free jazz. Nearly 50 years later, Kirk Whalum's Romance Language isn't going to have the same impact on his career, even though he has recorded the same half-dozen tunes with his brother Kevin Whalum taking the vocals. Kirk doesn't have Coltrane's reputation for one thing, and for another, he and Kevin are not trying to re-create the Coltrane/Hartman sound on Romance Language; they just happen to be performing the same songs. In their readings, evergreens like Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful," Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," and Rodgers & Hart's "You Are Too Beautiful" are given smooth jazz arrangements typical of Kirk's other albums. Fellow musicians such as John Stoddart (prominently featured on electric piano on "Lush Life"), Kevin Turner (who solos on electric guitar on the long coda to "You Are Too Beautiful"), and Michael "Nomad" Ripoll (who launches "Autumn Serenade" with some flamenco-style acoustic guitar) join in to produce instrumental beds for Kirk to solo over in a warm, unhurried manner. And Kevin has a burnished croon more reminiscent of Nat King Cole than Hartman (who was in the Billy Eckstine school of singers). To fill out the disc to CD-worthy length, Kirk performs instrumentals of more contemporary material by the likes of Eric Benet and Terry Lewis & Jimmy Jam Harris. And the brothers' 83-year-old uncle, Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum, comes on to sing "Almost Doesn't Count" and shows them how it should be done. He is closer in sound and spirit to the album being paid tribute here, and his sole contribution whets the appetite for more.


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