Singer/songwriter/producer Leon Ware is making his first major label appearance in more than two decades with "Moon Ride." The Stax/Concord Records set will be released Aug. 12.

"This album has all the things I lean toward: romance, sensuality and spirituality," Ware says. "I live in that place; it's my religion."

The sensual style of music that's become his trademark is reflected throughout "Moon Ride," especially on such tracks as lead single "Smoovin'," the alluring "Loceans" and "I Never Loved So Much," a track reminiscent of the late Marvin Gaye.

"Marvin would have made that song a little nastier," Ware says with a laugh. "For some reason, I never sent that song to a publisher. But when I pulled it out a year ago, it was like hearing it for the first time. I made the choice then to include it on the album."

Ware is best known for his writing and production credits on projects by Gaye (the "I Want You" album), Michael Jackson ("I Wanna Be Where You Are") and Quincy Jones ("Body Heat," "If I Ever Lose This Heaven") among others. His extensive catalog has been sampled by Ice Cube, Tupac, Mary J. Blige, Prince and A Tribe Called Quest.

In the '70s he began recording his own albums, including "Musical Massage" (Motown) and "Rockin' You Eternally" (Elektra). In 1995 Ware began releasing a series of albums through his own Kitchen Records, among them 2003's "Love's Drippin'" and 2004's "A Kiss in the Sand."