On My Romance, Kevin Mahogany wraps his gorgeous baritone around a program of standards and love songs, recalling Johnny Hartman's classic album with John Coltrane. With saxmen Kirk Whalum and Michael Brecker offering sympathetic support and Bob James showing what a classy accompanist and arranger he can be, this recording is the ideal soundtrack for a quiet, candle-lit evening of romance. Mahogany's beautiful reading of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" establishes that song as worthy of inclusion with the classic melodies of the Great American Songbook. His slow caress of "Stairway to the Stars" brings a new emotional depth to that oft-recorded chestnut, while the quiet piano/tenor arrangement of the title track gives Mahogany the opportunity to make the song his own. The singer brings a cool, Joe Williams-like blues touch to Lyle Lovett's "I Know You Know." Other standout tracks include a lightly swinging stroll through the Van Morrison composition "Wild Honey," complete with a string sextet, and a fine take on "Lush Life." With this excellent disc, Kevin Mahogany firmly stakes his claim as the top jazz balladeer of his generation.
My Romance Review
by Jim Newsom