Daryle Chinn may be a positive addition to the A list of funk keyboardists in the genre, but one listen to Passion begs the question of how much more he could have accomplished with a larger budget. He suffers a bit from the Joe McBride "synth drum" syndrome -- despite outstanding melodies, catchy hooks, and solid performance skills in areas ranging from R&B to Latin, it's hard to get into grooves that are solely machine generated. Luckily, the few live players who do appear bring Chinn's tunes and soulful covers of hits like Babyface's "Someone to Love," "The Closer I Get to You," and "When I Think of You" to energetic life. The always sure winded Gerald Albright does double duty on a hypnotic "Spanish Lullaby," doubling Chinn's keyboard melody on one track as his alto soars above the main melody on a complementary one; equally effective is labelmate Lincoln Adler, who adds his sax to the Janet Jackson tune. Ray Brown adds true life horn section spunk to the synthesized ones that ride behind the synthesized flute sound Chinn leads with "Fiesta." And who is this brilliant, inventive pianist Herman Jackson who makes the simplest Chinn melody ("Hold Me") into a punchy form of revelation? Even more unique, Chinn has violinist Karen Briggs (from Yanni's touring show) take the lead on "Africa," giving a pleasant song a wild and wacky life it probably doesn't deserve on its own. Briggs' winding and twisting steals the show from Chinn, a fine ringleader who simply needs to add a few more human beings to fulfill his passionate vision next time out.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran