Sunny and improvisational, Boney James's SHINE–his 10th studio outing–finds the lite urban jazz sax maven in top form. By emphasizing the R&B side of his recipe and inviting friends like Faith Evans and the easy-listening jazz legend George Benson, James scores his most accessible album yet and crosses over to the R&B and Pop Charts in the process. The album includes a cover of Chuck Mangione's "Soft."
An eclectic, or probably more appropriately, multifaceted album by one of the great sound magicians of New Orleans. The tunes range from ancient spirituals through a dirge, an obscure beguine (correctly named as Touloulou) or Ellington numbers to a Tom Waits song, but any of them sounds timeless in the usual intense presentation of Ms. Nealand and her Royal Roses. Indeed, the work is the current response of the band to the question of why this kind of seemingly outdated music should matter today. Their approach integrates the musical explorations of the last several decades, involving results from jazz, rock and even classical experience. And the outcome is truly spectacular.