There is a fair amount of variety on this reasonably enjoyable but not essential release from keyboardist Joe Sample. Most of the tunes fall into the area of funky crossover with strong melodies, danceable rhythms and few chances taken. Flora Purim takes the vocal on "Shadows" and is joined by two other singers for the spirited "Burnin' Up The Carnival." The acoustic "Sonata In Solitude" has violinist L. Subramaniam, guitarist John Collins and bassist Ray Brown, but that is a one-time departure on what is basically a commercial set geared for radio airplay. ~ Scott Yanow
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- Christmas with Friends (India.Arie)