Meowbaby takes its retro-cool title from a line uttered by Telly Savalas in an episode of the '70s television series Kojak. It's saxophonist Danny Lerman's way of giving a playful salute on a contemporary jazz recording that is fun, funky, and full of top-flight musicians. Lerman aggressively pursues his rhythms and grooves with the kind of musicality that has been championed by the like of Dave Koz,Jimmy Sommers. and Eric Marienthal. Lerman co-wrote a dozen songs for this second album, recorded two covers including Sade's mega hit "No Ordinary Love" and the John Lennon peace anthem "Imagine," which is soulfully sung by Howard Hewett. A reissued version of "You Take My Breath Away" from his Top 20 debut disc, Danny's Island also makes the cut. Drummer Tal Bergman, who worked on Lerman's first CD, not only provides exciting and exotic beats for Meowbaby, but he produced ten tracks. A few cuts were produced by seminal urban jazz artist Norman Connors. Lerman's amazing hit machine is fully loaded with such great musicians as Hubert Laws, Randy Brecker, Lynn Fiddmont,Paul Jackson, Jr., Bobby Lyle, and Munyungo Jackson. From the start the title cut, Meowbaby exudes some serious heat that lends even more credence to "Summer in a Hummer,"a laid-back, breezy, just chillin' kind of song. An inviting mid-tempo number, "The First Time" simmers before erupting, while "No Words" makes an eloquent emotional statement. The inimitable Hubert Laws blows a fiery flute solo on the supercharged "South Beach Serenata," a song that sets the mood for a true Latin descarga. The first single serviced to radio, "Gotcha!" has a deep-pocketed groove that segues into a chorus that is ever so sweet, but for those familiar with this song, Lerman has sweetened it with a special arrangement. With 15 compositions to lighten your mood, set a romantic theme, or just keep you chillin' to his contemporary saxophonics, Danny Lerman and his special guests have delivered a set that is as personal as a love song and as accessible as a sunny day on a tropical island. Check it out!
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein