Alexscar Records celebrated its launch as an independent label with the release of The Hit It Project, a powerful, compelling album that paid homage to late legendary Grammy-winning R&B/pop songwriter Skip Scarborough and marked the exciting emergence of acclaimed saxophonist and sideman David Marq as an artist in his own right. Well known to contemporary jazz audiences throughout the U.S. and beyond for his many years performing with R&B and jazz luminaries like Brian Culbertson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Maysa Leak, Ledisi, Cabo Frio, and the David Bach Consort, Marq gives heartfelt and grooving praise to Scarborough with fresh interpretations of many of his idol's greatest hits as well as more obscure, though no less powerful, gems from his vast catalog of songs. Marq, who first met and worked on sessions with Scarborough in the mid-'90s, was invited to record the album by famed R&B producer and longtime Scarborough associate Jonathan LeSane, Jr., co-owner of the label with Scarborough's widow, gospel singer Alton McClain Scarborough. The versatile saxman, whose musical arsenal includes flute, clarinet, and EWI wind synthesizer, puts his unique stamp on a virtual hit parade of Scarborough delights from the songwriter's massive body of work that includes over 200 certified gold or platinum singles: "Giving You the Best That I Got" (which earned Scarborough a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1988), "Love Ballad," "It's Alright with Me," "Lovely Day," "Can't Hide Love," and "Don't Ask My Neighbors." Beyond those songs that the world can sing by heart, the saxman goes deep to unearth the magic of lesser-known gems like "Spirit of Love" (Con Funk Shun), "Love Changes" (Mother's Finest), "No One Can Love You More" (Phyllis Hyman), and "Loving You, Loving Me" and "Anything for Your Love," two songs recorded on Nancy Wilson's 1997 Columbia album If I Had My Way. The collection includes vocal tracks by Alton -- who sings a stirring rendition of the inspirational classic "They Say" -- and Scarborough's son Marc on the bonus version of "Love Ballad." The project also features an exclusive guest vocal on the bonus track of "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran