Alfonzo Blackwell

Reflections

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Whatever strides saxophonist Alfonso Blackwell made toward incorporating some challenging straight-ahead jazz elements into 2000's The Time Is Now are completely eschewed on this saccharine follow-up. The Time Is Now was no Love Supreme, but compared with the shallow pop of his first two albums, Alfonso appeared to be attempting a reconciliation between the avant-garde and the smooth on "New Jazz Order." No such admirable gestures are to be found on Reflections. Despite a trite and insipid cover of Miles Davis' "All Blues" that turns the mid-'60s classic into a mild, barely funk jam, the album largely consists of light pop ballads. Assuming though, that most contemporary jazz listeners are not looking to be challenged per se, there are enough palatable R&B infused tracks here to chalk this entry up as simply more of the same. That said, music as un-reflective as this could cause even the most die-hard post-bopper to wax nostalgic for Grover Washington, Jr.

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