REGGIE HINES: Live Your Life (Label:

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REGGIE HINES: Live Your Life

Reggie Hines is a South Bronx based sax man who’s worked with countless soul acts including Regina Belle, Brian McKnight, Carl Thomas, Zhane, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Angie Stone and the O’Jays… he was also the featured sax man on Luther Vandross’ last live shows. Little wonder, then that, this, his second full solo set has a strong soul undertow and, moreover, the LP boasts a fair share of vocal cuts – one of which should have the modern soul room crew dancing in delight. Tune in question is the totally delightful ‘I Love The Way’ featuring passionate vocals from Mag Elliott. Ms E has a great, gritty voice which offers a soulful and committed counterpoint to Hines’ smooth sax as it weaves its way through the cut. Beat-wise, it’s perfect and any decent DJ seeking something a little different with which to surprise the dancers would be well advised to check it out. Amongst the other vocals there’s the languid ‘Let Me Know’ (featuring Laura Vernice), a neo soul workout – ‘Remember Me’ (vocals from Shackeel Hill) and an odd Barry White/Isaac Hayes hybrid – ‘I Want You’ with late night lurve vocal from Isaac “Seven” Hill. Of the instrumentals the opener, ‘After Party’ is particularly strong featuring, as it does, a catchy blaxploitation brass riff , the Grover Washington tribute – ‘Special Moments’ – is pleasing, while ‘You Can’t Stop It’ features a catchy mute trumpet sound. Much of the rest is looser and lacking in focus (‘Life’s a Song’ and ‘The Black Hole’) though ‘Miche’s Rain’ intrigues by sampling a Barrack Obama speech and ‘Sore Throat’ is as odd as it’s singularly unsoulful title. I found I could take or leave the oddities, but I kept going back to ‘I Love The Way’… you will too.
(BB) 3/5