For The Love Of You
Label: eOne Music
Vibraphonist Joe Locke brings vocalist Kenny Washington aboard and lays on a luxurious set of ballads and rhythmic tunes. Locke and his band (which includes pianist Geoff Keezer) play modern bop as Washington's vocals bring a soul feeling to songs such as "Pure Imagination" and Neil Young's "Birds." Whenever Washington steps away from the mic, the band kicks into gear and tackles modernist instrumentals like "Bright Side Up." The entire effort gels, and hats off to Locke for selecting a smart batch of tunes and sidestepping obvious choices.