Artist: Kirk Whalum
Album: Babyface songbook
Kybds, arranging, programming, strings: Mark Portmann
Label: Warner Bros
The title of saxophonist Kirk Whalum’s 2005 album Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songbook speaks for itself. You get smooth jazz icon Whalum taking on R&B icon Babyface’s best songs of the past 15 years, including “Waiting to Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” “I’ll Make Love to You,” “When Can I See You,” and others. Joining in the intimate and stylish proceedings are other smooth jazz notables, including trumpeter Rick Braun, who adds a boppish elan to “Can We Talk,” soprano superstar Dave Koz, and guitarists Norman Brown and Chuck Loeb among others. Fans of Whalum and Babyface alike should find much to enjoy here.