Romance Language

With Romance Language Kirk Whalum and his brother Kevin have created a musical mash note to one of their favorite albums, 1963’s mood-music landmark John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Kirk, an acclaimed smooth-jazz saxophonist with nearly two dozen albums to his credit, handles Coltrane’s parts, blowing in his reed as he might his lady’s ear. Kevin, meanwhile, plays lover-man extraordinaire in the Hartman mode, singing in hushed, come-hither tones. Joining them is a cast of simpatico sidemen—players who caress each note and keep things gently rolling. Coltrane and Hartman’s original album contained just six songs, but the Whalums add versions of four latter-day slow jams, just in case date night lasts a little longer than planned.

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