Recording information: Le Gonks West, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Jeff Fasano.
Arranger: George Duke.
A Time for Love is another set of reinterpretations from Jeffrey Osborne, but the singer switches it up, reunites with George Duke -- producer of his first three solo albums -- and is backed by an undeniable lineup of jazz musicians. Drummer John Roberts, bassist Christian McBride, and keyboardist Duke are the rhythm section on every cut. They're joined by a rotating mix of support that includes guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., trumpeters Walt Fowler and Rick Braun, and saxophonists Kamasi Washington and Everette Harp. Osborne and the musicians recorded while in one another's presence. It adds depth and intimacy to the songs -- a positive trade-off for the listeners who aren't all that anxious to hear the umpteenth versions of "What a Wonderful World," "Nature Boy," and "(They Long to Be) Close to You." Another aspect that shines through is Osborne's deep connection to the material; he clearly knows it all inside-out, enough to add his own touches with little effort, and evidently had a ball. Most entertaining of all is a version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," throughout which Osborne and duet partner Chaka Khan swap naturally humorous dialogue. ~ Andy Kellman