One of the most popular saxophonists of all time, Grover Washington, Jr. was a pacesetter in his field. With roots in rhythm and blues and soul-jazz organ combinations, he also played straight-ahead jazz. A highly influential player, Washington pushes himself with the spontaneity and chance-taking of a masterful jazz musician.A renowned live performer, Washington is able to display his own personal voices on soprano, tenor, alto and even his infrequently used baritone sax.
This is one of Grover Washington, Jr.'s best-loved recordings and considered a classic of r&bish jazz. All four songs (which includes Billy Strayhorn's "Passion Flower") are quite enjoyable but it is "Mister Magic" that really caught on as a major hit. Bob James provided the colorful if somewhat commercial arrangements, there are spots for guitarist Eric Gale, and Washington (mostly on tenor and soprano) is heard in particularly creative form. Highly recommended.(Scott Yanow - AllMusic Guide)
Maturity for jazzmen has often been equated with the ability to speak passionately in a ballad setting and in this regard Washington never flags from his responsibilities. Both “Don’t Explain” and “Easy Living” find the saxophonist in peak form. His tone is lush and fervent, but never too sweet or saccharine. By contrast, funkier numbers like “Masterpiece” and “Taurian Matador” feature Washington at his soulful best in a style that has likely influenced scores of “lite jazz” saxophonists over the years but has never sounded quite as convincing in anyone’s hands but this master.( Andrew Hovan - allaboutjazz.com )
Another addition to the Manhattans' bulging cache of mellow sounds. Gerald Alston, Winnie Lovett, Ernest Bivens and Kenny Kelly made a career of recording romance, heartache and make-out tunes. The popular "We Never Danced to a Love Song" fits in well with their other ballads, as does the majestic "It Just Can't Stay this Way" and "Let's Start All Over Again." They hit the charts with the somewhat contrived "I Kinda Miss You," and the title track, the eloquent "It Feels So Good to Be Loved So Bad" is classic - the harmony is tight and they add a little doo wop for good measure.
One of the most electrified of Grover Washington, Jr.'s albums, this Columbia set features the popular saxophonist (who plays soprano, alto and tenor) joined by oversized rhythm sections and plenty of keyboards on a variety of funky and danceable material.
Eddie Henderson's lovely flugelhorn colors the opening track, "E Preciso Perdoar (One Must Forgive)," setting the mood for a very mellow set. Washington, accompanied by six pieces, plays the standards straighter than Johnny Mathis sings them; everything is ratcheted down '40s-ish/'50s-ish cozy nightclub style.