Still suffering from the after-effects of a diabetes-induced stroke, R&B icon Luther Vandross has been the focus of numerous tributes.
Still suffering from the after-effects of a diabetes-induced stroke, R&B icon Luther Vandross has been the focus of numerous tributes. The latest is this collection of Vandross tunes, interpreted by a who's who of the smooth-jazz world. The instrumental and vocal treatments here range from Vandross' first R&B No. 1 ("Never Too Much") to his most recent success ("Dance With My Father"). But too often, the 10 selections traverse the same ground as previous Vandross compilations. That said, saxophonist Boney James' John Klemmer-esque take on "Wait for Love" and Mindi Abair's sassy horn moves on "Stop to Love" command attention. The set really soars, though, when singers are brought on board: Lalah Hathaway ("Forever, for Always, for Love") and Bay Area fave Ledisi ("My Sensitivity") definitely punch up the proceedings. A few more vocal tracks like these—as well as less of a reliance on chart hits—would have made for a stronger set.—GM