Shaw's blend of mellow, sexy soul of the quiet storm variety is everywhere and particularly so with â€˜You Got That Kinda Love' and the equally sensuous â€˜Smile Again'. Here Lenny Price on sax really makes an impression and again comes up big for â€˜How Can It Be'. First with his intro and then again with an outstanding solo he turns this emotionally charged gem into a tune with the potential to cross-over into the realms of urban jazz. While maybe not as radio ready, but certainly in similar vein, is the haunting simplicity of the romantic â€˜Let Me Be The One'. With â€˜My Forever Love,' Shaw puts a hip and contemporary twist to the kind of sweet seduction music that Alexander O'Neil previously made into an art form and for â€˜How Can I Win Your Love Back' he delivers a big soulful ballad made memorable by its repetitive and hypnotic chorus.
Both â€˜Just In The Nick Of Time' and the street savvy â€˜Be My Lady', where Darmel Moore provides an edgy rap, demonstrate Shaw as quite able to ratchet up the tempo. Although with â€˜Don't You Want To Dance' he engenders an enticing steppin' groove and produces another potential dance floor filler with â€˜Ain't No Turning Back,' he is arguably at his best when handling mid tempo chillers. He takes his time in building the slow burning â€˜I Never Felt Like This Before' to incredible effect and indeed does romantic ballads as well as anyone. A case in point is the wonderful â€˜On My Way'. With infectious hooks and a sumptuous arrangement it really is a contender for best track on the album. And the catchy yet mellow â€˜If I Knew Then' sums up the velvety mood of the entire CD. All that being said, a personal favourite is â€˜While We're Still Friends'. Roseann Matthews, whose tones are evocative of vintage Anita Baker, steps up to share the spotlight with Shaw and ensure unequivocally that this romantic duet checks all the right boxes of new urban contemporary music.
Denis Poole, http://www.smoothjazztherapy.com/