1. Enuff Is Enuff
2. That’s The Way I Feel ‘Bout Your Love
4. Don’t Wanna Let You Go
7. The New Day
8. Nature’s Way
9. Early Morning/Let There Be Light
10. Learning To Love
11. Enuff Is Enuff (Theme From The Film One Down, Two To Go)
Source: Vinyl LP
Format: 320kbps MP3 (HQ Processing)
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Rodney Franklin, a Cali-borne pianist and keyboard stylist, had a number of albums out before this point, all boasting an incredible collection of R&B-inflected jazz tunes. At the time, the fusion of instrumental jazz music with R&B music had not been wedged into the “smooth jazz” radio format, so a good deal of the music contained in these albums was without the thin textures that the subgenre is typically derided for having. An instant favorite of his early albums was the snap-bass happy “Windy City”, which melded Franklin’s piano to a serious groove.
This album was initially of interest not just because of Franklin’s playing and the standard he had set up until this point, but because of the name on the producer’s credit: Stanley Clarke. Stanley is mostly known for the music he created under his own name and with Return To Forever, as noted in earlier entries, but as a producer, he is certainly underrated. For one, Stanley had a distinct sound, that was parted onto his own records (which may not be as obvious here, if you haven’t heard his own album Let Me Know You from the same year, but certainly was when he assembled a studio team for records like 1984’s Time Exposure) and others, yet somehow falling outside of that 1980s trap of just passing off his own music to other artists and having them play singalong (i.e. what Cameo and Prince were notorious for doing in the same decade).
The result is a very pleasing set that recalls an autumn day with the leaves falling and all that jazz back in Celeron — I mean, an easy listen. The Stanley sound is in big effect on the album’s bookends, vocal and (mostly) instrumental takes on the song “Enuff Is Enuff”, but the real fun is in the middle. “That’s The Way I Feel ‘Bout Your Love” and “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” also have the Stanley Clarke “R&B” sound to them, but the vocals of Jim Gilstrap, Daryl Phinnessee and company make it even more of an enjoyable listen. Also in the set is an interesting take on Christopher Cross’s 1980 smash “Sailing”, which, much like Franklin’s take on the theme to Hill Street Blues an album or so prior, took a fresh coat of Blackness to a familiar tune. While there is less genre exercise on this album as there might have been on others, there’s not a hair out of place on this album.
The transfer here was the handiwork of the deposed MyJazzWorld, as was Clarke’s I Wanna Play For You. Hopefully, like that album, the powers will be will give this album a much-needed CD issue. Franklin’s albums prior have started to show up, after all.