Grover Washington, Jr.'s fatal 1999 heart attack cut a successful 30-year recording career tragically short. Washington's legacy was his ability to combine jazz and pop by tracing their common roots in R&B and soul music. He found fans among the younger wave of jazz listeners, who were attracted to the sounds of what became known as "smooth jazz."
Washington's jazzier side is highlighted on this retrospective, in addition to his smooth jazz inclinations. Standout tracks include a big band version of "Please Send Me Someone to Love," as well as a version of Ron Carter's "Blues for DP," where he proves he's an effective and skilled jazz saxophonist; his soprano solo is wonderfully constructed. A thought-provoking and varied set of music, PRIME CUTS is a good introduction to Washington's music, as well as an endearing farewell to the father of what could be termed "rhythm & jazz."