Album: Pure

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Album:

Pure

Artist: Boney James
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Genres:
Label: Warner Bros / Wea

The man who made R&B safe for smooth-jazz saxophonists has another possible Soul Train award winner featuring slick vocal excursions by Debi Nova and Dwele. There’s also a real groove-a-thon with Bilal titled “Better with Time” that, like the lyrics state, is like an old soul record. Keyboards also stand out among these 10 tracks. Joe Sample delivers one of his patented short piano solos on the aptly titled “Stone Groove,” and while Billy Preston’s organ and Bobby Lyle’s piano are not out front on “You Don’t Have to Go Home,” the aural picture they frame for the…

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The man who made R&B safe for smooth-jazz saxophonists has another possible Soul Train award winner featuring slick vocal excursions by Debi Nova and Dwele. There’s also a real groove-a-thon with Bilal titled “Better with Time” that, like the lyrics state, is like an old soul record. Keyboards also stand out among these 10 tracks. Joe Sample delivers one of his patented short piano solos on the aptly titled “Stone Groove,” and while Billy Preston’s organ and Bobby Lyle’s piano are not out front on “You Don’t Have to Go Home,” the aural picture they frame for the artist is masterful. James, who produced this album, has developed into a very solid contemporary jazz composer, adding spicy horn arrangements throughout that really showcase his growth in that area—particularly on “Here She Comes,” which has an Incognito horn-section vibe to it. It all adds up to James’s most rewarding album since 1998’s Sweet Thing. —Mark Ruffin

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