Smooth and sultry keyboardist Raymond Jones continues to perfect his craft -- a style of smooth jazz he defines as "soul jazz" or "sensual jazz" -- on Intimate, one in a series of his releases on UEG Records. Though Jones writes most of the album's songs, he collaborates with guest vocalists and musicians: vocalists Norma Jean Wright, Eric Gable, Lori Perry, Alexx Daye, and Zachary; musicians Art Webb, Leslie Drayton, Stephen Baxter, Fernando Harkless, and Andre Roberson. In addition, bassist Del Atkins, guitarist Fred Clark, and drummer Tony Moore perform throughout the album alongside Jones, who generally plays keyboards. As mentioned earlier, Jones continues to perfect his craft on Intimate. Past albums featured a similar mood and pace, and past songs featured similar lyrics and vocals; however, never has Jones' music sounded this calculated and honed. A considerable improvement, Intimate should impress anyone who enjoyed Jones' earlier releases.
by Jason Birchmeier