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Jeffrey Osborne: A Time for Love

Reviewed by Heikki Suosalo

Rating: 8/ 10

Soul Express CD of the Month - March - April 2013

US StarVista Ent./Saguaro Road Rec., 27429-D, 2013
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1) The Shadow Of Your Smile (feat. Paul Jackson Jr)
2) Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
3) Baby, It's Cold Outside - Jeffrey Osborne And Chaka Khan
4) (They Long To Be) Close To You
5) My One And Only Love (feat. Kamasi Washington)
6) Smile (feat. George Duke)
7) Teach Me Tonight (feat. Everette Harp)
8) When I Fall In Love (feat. Rick Braun)
9) What A Wonderful World
10) Nature Boy (feat. Walt Fowle)
11) You Don't Know What Love Is (feat. Rick Braun)
12) A Time For Love (feat. Kamasi Washington)

  Jeffrey’s A Time for Love (StarVista Ent./Saguaro Road Rec., 27429-D) really took me by surprise.  Eight years after his previous studio album, From the Soul, Jeffrey invited his old musical partner, George Duke, into jointly producing, arranging and orchestrating a set of Jeffrey’s jazz and standard favourites.  Backed by a nucleus trio of George Duke on keys, Christian McBride on bass and John Roberts on drums, there are many other famed musicians visiting on different tracks, such as Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar, Kamasi Washington and Everette Harp on sax, Rick Brown and Walt Fowler on trumpet and Lenny Castro on percussion.  George produced Jeffrey’s first solo recordings in the first half of the 80s, and the pair came up with such hits then as I Really Don’t need No Light, Don’t You Get So Mad, Stay With Me Tonight, Plane Love, Don’t Stop and The Borderlines.

  Although there are at least two songs, which you could classify pop - James Taylor’s soft Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight and the CarpentersClose to You, here turned into mid-tempo groove – they fit well into the sophisticated and soothing musical surroundings of the other jazz-flavoured tracks.  Among mellow, dreamy and atmospheric moods of The Shadow of Your Smile, My One and Only Love, When I Fall In Love, What a Wonderful World, Nature Boy, You Don’t Know What Love Is and A Time For Love, there’s the comedy of Baby, It’s Cold Outside with Chaka Khan, the bossanova-ed Smile and the improvisation on Teach Me Tonight.

  A Time for Love is a classy and also soulful smooth jazz album, and I hope it gets a lot of exposure.  You don’t get to hear this kind of high-quality music these days very often anymore.  (

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