A great rhythm and jazz-based all-star group whose popularity keeps growing is the Fantasy Band, whose eclectic The Kiss marks the third recording of a band which began as a quickly thrown together concert lineup in the late '80s. Their first two projects on DMP featured members of Special EFX, but this time, core members Chuck Loeb (electric guitar), Dave Samuels, bassist John Lee, and soprano saxman Marion Meadows are joined by the horns of Nelson Rangell (alto) and Andy Snitzer (tenor). The three saxes are alternated depending on the intensity of a track's rhythmic base. Rangell struts his Sanborn-esque stuff on the punchier street vibes of "Double Talk" and "Lean on Me," while Snitzer adds cool fire to "All in All" and Meadows tackles the more laid-back ballads. While Loeb and the horns share most of the melodic leads, it is Samuels' playful tropical jazz flair on the vibes which elevates what might have been just another pleasant contempo project into an event which lives up to its whimsical name.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran