Jazz's hard-liners tend to dismiss crossover/NAC releases in general, but in fact, not all crossover is created equal. There's a world of difference between the commercial, but creative, offerings of Grover Washington, Jr. and David Sanborn and something as bloodless as Alfonzo Blackwell's Let's Imagine... This album isn't bad because it offers a commercial blend of pop, R&B and jazz -- Blackwell is under no obligation to play hard bop if that isn't his choice. The problem with Let's Imagine... is its total lack of creativity. The soprano saxophonist has gone out of his way to model this album after the hit recordings of Najee, Kenny G, George Howard and Dave Koz, and the results are faceless and sleep-inducing. Whether he's embracing tunes that were written for him or providing a heartless muzak version of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," Blackwell's complete lack of originality is impossible to miss. Let's Imagine... is definitely a CD to steer clear of.
Let's Imagine.... Review
by Alex Henderson