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Release Date:
January 26, 2010

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

Saxophonist Kim Waters rolls out another “love” themed collection with his sixteenth recording simply entitled, Love Stories. There is a great mix here and a little bit for everyone. I found the whole project very refreshing and interesting. The surprising thing is that he wrote most of this one while on tour in Europe, and then came home to record it in just seven days.

All the songs here are well crafted and multi layered without too much emphasis on the surroundings. “Love Story” is the opening track, and catches you right away. Drawing inspiration from his two daughters, Waters starts off with this mid-tempo track that features both a teasing volley in the refrain, as well as some good solo work that doesn’t go outside the realm of what he’s trying to get across here. In other words, it they both fit nicely. You feel like you’re walking along as Kim tells his “story.”  “For Lovers Only” slows the speed down dramatically. Heavy on opening bass and distant rim shots, you wonder how he’s going to approach this one. But he comes in with just the right tone that adds the upper layer of the song. The phrasing comes across really well, and he is not mired in the musical traps that so many “love songs” end up in. There is a catchy melody that I like a lot in “Song of Passion.” The similar story line in the first half, give way to some nice solo work before returning once more. Vocalist Kenny Lattimore joins Waters on a song they wrote together called “One More.”  After touring together last summer, the two pair up again for one that I know you’re going to like.
“Reaching Out” picks up the beat somewhat with a good back beat and layered sax. The background can almost stand on it’s own as a good dance vibe, and Waters sax completes the picture for one of my favorites. Waters pays honor to the King of Pop with Michael Jackson’s song, “This Is It.” Kim admits to being a Jackson fan and knew he wanted to record this one. He picks up the beat again with “Hangin’ Out.” Heavy on the bass line again, with a groove I know you’re going to like a lot. Although it has that feel to it, you never get tired of what Waters is doing here. “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” is a classic, and he does this one just with an unhurried approach. He finishes up with the ever sensual “Deep In Love.” Initial offering includes some coastal background sounds giving way to the vocals of the title. The approach from Waters is very deliberate while playing well to an audience of those in love.
The one thing that I like about this release is the overall balance of both the artist and his background musicians. This balance also spills over to song selection. You never tire of hearing a similar song on the next track while it doesn’t stray too far from the core of the project title. The addition of two cover songs from two completely different generations breaks it up nicely giving the listener something familiar to listen to while introducing them to eight new songs as well. Go listen to Love Stories, and I think you will like the ones you hear.