Review Summary: A forgotten masterpiece...
This has always been my most favourite pop jazz record. I know it's surely not comparable to classic jazz/bop creations, but Mr. Washington is surely an exceptional saxophonist and composer. ''Winelight'' is the ultimate piece you listen to if you want to relax after a tiring day or spend some romantic time with a special individual. Smooth music accompanied with a glass of red wine.
The album starts with the song of the same name
, a funky 7 minute long composition which absolutely shows off what the other tracks have to offer. Washington jams with his sax throughout while fellow players exchange solos with their instruments (with the most distinctive of them being Marcus Miller's ass kicking bass).
"Let It Flow (For Dr. J)''
comes up next, another rhytmic piece similar to the first track with the only difference of having a faster beat. Some very beautiful keyboards can also be heard in the background.
''In the Name of Love''
is the following track and the final piece on the first side of the vinyl. This is the song out of all the other five that I totally adore. A smooth, unforgettable gem.
''Take Me There''
presents the second side of this masterpiece. It is some kind of a mixture of all the previous tracks. Begins as a slow melody and then becomes more exciting and funky.
And now, we come to the most famous song off the album, ''Just the Two of Us''
. Maybe this groovy jazz ballad is one of the most memorable quiet storm jams of all time. Washington's saxophone and Bill Withers' harmonic vocals make it fantastic. It was surely worth the Grammy.
Finally, the album closes with the track ''Make Me A Memory (Sad Samba)''
. I frequently relate this song to ''In the Name of Love'', maybe because it is as smooth and melodic as the previously mentioned composition is. A magnificent way to close a magnificent album.
Wouldn't be important to waste more time by getting into detail about this record. It's flawless and it should be comprising every classic listener's collection. Unfortunately, sometimes it is slightly overlooked. This is very odd. I can partially understand this negative reception because of its songs' structure. People cannot recognise a poppish jazz album as a classic just because it doesn't represent the original modal productions older artists were providing in the past years. Comparable or not, this record is the only jazz album that can calm you down or cheer you up any time you want to enjoy some awesome music.