Although not a household name in the United States, Michael Ruff has quietly carved out an impressive career so far as not only a solo artist, but as a session musician, arranger, and especially as a songwriter. His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Loggins, David Sanborn, Huey Lewis, Chaka Kahn, Roberta Flack, and numerous others. Many of his songs have been used in countless television shows and films. In between all of this activity, he has also recorded and released six fine solo albums, and the latest, Love Songs And Lullabies is easily the most impressive. Framed by light funk grooves and soulful arrangements, the nine original songs here (and one cover, Randy Newman's "Marie") create a beautiful, easy feeling. The sense of calm and peacefulness surround virtually all of the tracks here. While the music has a sweet, flowing swing, it's really the songs that are the stars here, especially mildly hypnotic "Leave The Light On." It easy to see why this artist is a successful songwriter. His vocal ability is equally impressive, as his work on Newman's daunting "Marie" will illustrate. Lyrical, soothing and justifiably spiritual, this record succeeds on all levels.
AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald