His previous effort All It Takes
wan not convincing.
So now, with help of clever French pal, Philippe Saisse, he forcedly tries an escape from the dead pond of Smooth Jazz...
It has been very difficult for me to listen to this recording till the end.
It is not pleasant, it is almost disturbing, it makes me cringe...
It sounds like he's straining himself a little too much.
Instrumentally, there is a minimalist 'live venue' approach utilizing a piece recorded here, another piece arranged and conducted there, thanks to the tech skills of producer Philippe Saisse.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of variety and each song blends seamlessly into the others and even after a fourth listen through the entire album it was tough to pick out individual tracks; albeit few exceptions.
Listening to this, I found myself skipping tracks to find something I could enjoy.
Being risky doesn't mean necessarily successful...
Rick's voice has this sourish, grating quality to it: is not mellow, round, warm, inviting, maybe it is not mature yet for that kind of project.
Which sounds good on paper...
But not easy on ears!
Do not believe the hype!
Listen to it and believe it!
If you are expecting something à la manière de Nelson Riddle, Frank Sinatra or even Chet Baker, stay away from this one.