Kim Waters - Silver Soul

Welcome to the latest issue of Denis Poole's Secret Garden, the page that offers a personal perspective on the very best from the world of smooth jazz and classic soul.

Since 1989 and, the release of his debut CD Sweet & Saxy, sax-man Kim Waters has been a constant on the urban-jazz landscape. With a reputation for being one of the most technically gifted players around, his accomplishments include fourteen No. 1 singles, four No. 1 albums, sixteen top ten singles and crossover sets that have variously registered time on the Billboard 200, urban, contemporary jazz and top independent album charts. Now he is back with his 20th solo recording, Silver Soul.

This fine mixture of vocal R & B and instrumental smooth jazz has much to commend it including, in the former category, 'Anything You Need' featuring Waters' wife Dana Pope. Other songs where Waters' makes astute use of vocals are the super sultry 'Let's Make Love' and the soul charged 'Laying Beside Me' (with vocals from Eric Robertson). That said the instrumental element of Silver Soul is equally compelling.

A case in point is 'On A Mission' that proves to be what might best be described as a slice of textbook smooth jazz and much the same could be said of the deliciously mid tempo 'Cruising Round Rock' for which Waters' cool playing is a delight. Later, as he eases up the tempo with 'High Stride', the result is just as good and he keeps things fizzing for the beautifully brass enriched 'Go Go Smooth' which serves to demonstrate the more jazzy side of his musical persona.

It is one of ten tracks either written or co-written by Waters and another is the romantically inclined 'A Song For Dana' yet despite the abundance of original music Waters still finds space for two well-crafted covers. Indeed the almost classical sound of Kim's take on the John Legend hit 'All Of Me' is as surprising as it is pleasing while 'Fireflies' (that appeared on the self titled debut CD from actress and singer Zendaya) has the distinction of including vocals from the original performer.

Elsewhere 'Stay Together' is as fine an example of 'instrumental' quiet storm as will be heard anywhere and is right up there with the best that Silver Soul has to offer yet in terms of personal favorites the highly rhythmic first single, 'Dreaming Of You', is extremely hard to beat. Showcasing daughter Kayla Waters on piano it is the kind of easy grooving cut that keeps audiences coming back.

Silver Soul will be released September 2 on the Red River Entertainment label and comes highly recommended.

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