Eddie Henderson's lovely flugelhorn colors the opening track, "E Preciso Perdoar (One Must Forgive)," setting the mood for a very mellow set. Washington, accompanied by six pieces, plays the standards straighter than Johnny Mathis sings them; everything is ratcheted down '40s-ish/'50s-ish cozy nightclub style. Freddy Cole resembles his brother, Nat King Cole, on "Overjoyed," while "Happenstance" showcases Henderson's absolute trumpeting skills. But if you expected to exercise your fingers with a few impromptu snaps, these tracks won't take you there. Washington's Winelight album, one of his best, was laid-back also but Washington's M.O. was stamped all over it; here you need credits and liner notes for verification, and only the opening tune emits any sparks. An attempt to silence the die-hard jazz critics who considered him a lightweight, but a disappointment for his Mister Magic fans.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton