Next to You is Marion Meadows' seventh recording and second for the Heads Up International label. As the follow-up to his 1999 debut, Another Side of Midnight, this recording fills another aspect of the soprano saxophonist's love for the unique sounds and styles experienced by the vibe of his former hometown, New York City. Meadows' creative spirit moves between contemporary jazz, his soulful R&B spectrums, and the West Coast Latin vibe, grooves, melodies, and blend of Brazilian and Afro-Cuban sounds provided by longtime Pete Escovedo collaborator, guitarist Ray Obiedo. Each song is a passionate portrait centered on his spiritual center, the romantic emotions, and the energy his fans have come to know and love. Meadows opens with "Miami," a balmy, romantic song, flavored with hip-hop grooves and tropical sax melodies. Vocals and guitar from Spyro Gyra's Julio Fernandez sizzle on his solo and underneath Meadows' lyrical, soulful sax melodies and literally bring the perfect weather and laid-back atmosphere of Miami to life. "Next to You" is a sexy ballad, sung to the heart and from the soul of Blake Harris, who along with Meadows' sexy saxophone lines and backing vocals provides a diversity of sensations. The musical family assembled for this excellent CD is comprised of some of the best musicians in contemporary jazz and their collaborations are the perfect compliment for Marion Meadows' sax personality and style.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein