Bob James, 12

Another smooth, sinuous and unspectacular outing from the king of unchallenging jazz, though I'm not actually dissing him here, because too many in this genre fail to accomplish even that. Tracks like "Midnight" and "No Pay, No Play" run a little long but hold your attention well enough, as does "Legacy" with its gentle if lengthy guitar, while "Ruby, Ruby, Ruby" and its lead sax roll along superbly like tires on the freshest road. There's no unique verve (compare with "Angela" from Taxi) and no gripping central style, yet it's all so sufficiently consistent you won't much care. The '80s synths and beats (especially in "Moonbop" and "I Need More of You") do sometimes wear a bit dated to modern ears, though the album's ironically at its best when it indulges in it; indeed "Courtship," the ripely rambunctious second track, is undeniably its strongest (and shortest) piece with complex arrangements and a delightfully shifty rhythm. This unambitious outing won't blow your mind or your speakers, but you'll probably find yourself grooving along to it anyway. (Content: pure instrumental.)