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Album Reviews

March 09, 1997|Don Heckman

MARK WHITFIELD

"Forever Love"

Verve

* * *

This may be the breakthrough album that Whitfield has been looking for. In a career that has been filled with promise, Whitfield has never quite found the audience that his talent as a guitarist seemed to warrant. In this setting of lush ballads, however, he plays superbly,constantly calling up references to George Benson, and proving once again that a carefully planned program of standards can often be the quickest route to stardom.

Whitfield's smooth, almost vocalized approach to articulating such classic tunes as "You Don't Know What Love Is," "Nature Boy" and "It Never Entered My Mind" works beautifully, especially in solo renderings of "Some Other Spring" and "My One and Only Love." And he is aided immeasurably by two stunning vocals--on "Some Other Time" and "Early Autumn"--by Diana Krall.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).

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