Romance Language

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The 1963 Impulse! Records LP John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman helped to redefine the renowned jazz saxophonist by pairing him with a singer on a collection of standards, showing that Coltrane wasn't (or wasn't only) an avant-gardist bent on playing free jazz. Nearly 50 years later, Kirk Whalum's Romance Language isn't going to have the same impact on his career, even though he has recorded the same half-dozen tunes with his brother Kevin Whalum taking the vocals. Kirk doesn't have Coltrane's reputation for one thing, and for another, he and Kevin are not trying to re-create the Coltrane/Hartman sound on Romance Language; they just happen to be performing the same ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The 1963 Impulse! Records LP John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman helped to redefine the renowned jazz saxophonist by pairing him with a singer on a collection of standards, showing that Coltrane wasn't (or wasn't only) an avant-gardist bent on playing free jazz. Nearly 50 years later, Kirk Whalum's Romance Language isn't going to have the same impact on his career, even though he has recorded the same half-dozen tunes with his brother Kevin Whalum taking the vocals. Kirk doesn't have Coltrane's reputation for one thing, and for another, he and Kevin are not trying to re-create the Coltrane/Hartman sound on Romance Language; they just happen to be performing the same songs. In their readings, evergreens like Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful," Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," and Rodgers & Hart's "You Are Too Beautiful" are given smooth jazz arrangements typical of Kirk's other albums. Fellow musicians such as John Stoddart (prominently featured on electric piano on "Lush Life"), Kevin Turner (who solos on electric guitar on the long coda to "You Are Too Beautiful"), and Michael "Nomad" Ripoll (who launches "Autumn Serenade" with some flamenco-style acoustic guitar) join in to produce instrumental beds for Kirk to solo over in a warm, unhurried manner. And Kevin has a burnished croon more reminiscent of Nat King Cole than Hartman (who was in the Billy Eckstine school of singers). To fill out the disc to CD-worthy length, Kirk performs instrumentals of more contemporary material by the likes of Eric Benet and Terry Lewis & Jimmy Jam Harris. And the brothers' 83-year-old uncle, Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum, comes on to sing "Almost Doesn't Count" and shows them how it should be done. He is closer in sound and spirit to the album being paid tribute here, and his sole contribution whets the appetite for more.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2012
  • Label: Rendezvous
  • UPC: 881284514823
  • Catalog Number: 5148
  • Sales rank: 41,574

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kirk Whalum Primary Artist, Flute, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Javier Solís Percussion
Bashiri Johnson Percussion
Ralph Lofton Organ
George Tidwell Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Kevin Turner Electric Guitar
Kevin Whalum Vocals
John Stoddart Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Michael Ripoll Acoustic Guitar
Marcus Finnie Drums
Hugh Peanuts Whalum Vocals, Guest Appearance
Braylon Lacy Bass
Barylon Lacy Bass
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Saul Chaplin Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
George Nash Jr. Composer
Shelly Peiken Composer
Guy Roche Composer
Jolyon Skinner Composer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Kirk Whalum Arranger, Producer
Hy Zaret Composer
James Harris Composer
Eric Benét Composer
Maria Ehrenreich Creative Producer
John Stoddart Arranger, Producer
Denny Stilwell Executive Producer
Michele Williams Composer
Sammy Gallop Composer
Guy Wood Composer
Demonté Posey Composer
Mark Ruffin Liner Notes
Raj Naik Art Direction
Joe Thomas Composer
Colin Heldt Engineer
Earl Cole Executive Producer
John Peace Photo Assistance
Peter de Rose Composer
Gil Tamazyan Mastering
James Quenton Wright Composer
Terry Lewis Composer
Gretchen Valade Executive Producer
Robert Mellen Composer
Evan Whalum Band Photo
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