Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield

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AllMusic Review by

Wes Montgomery did it, then George Benson did it, so it was only a matter of time until Mark Whitfield did it. After all, going commercial proved to be very fruitful for both Montgomery and Benson. After two respectable straight-ahead recordings (The Marksman and Patrice), Whitfield received pressure from Warner Brothers to test the commercial jazz waters. This recording was a mild success and did receive some airplay, but Whitfield himself felt that he was selling out and after a short tour to promote the album, returned to his jazz roots. Despite the artist's tough criticisms, this is not as bad as he may think. The inclusion of a few straight-ahead pieces are all excellent, especially "Salvation of MRT," which alone saves this from being a complete disaster. In terms of the commercial material, it is played in the same tradition as Norman Brown, another Benson clone. The lowest point is "Sweet Sweet Love," an embarrassing attempt at soul/pop. A decent commercial jazz recording, but not recommended for those expecting to hear the real Mark Whitfield.

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