RICHARD SMITH -- First Kiss (Heads Up International)

Richard Smith is probably best known to jazz fans as the guitarist in Richard Elliot's band. On his fifth album, First Kiss, Smith switches easily between acoustic and electric guitar, capturing a variety of different moods. The songs are tastefully arranged, with smooth and soulful melodies. Highlights on the CD include "Impulsive" and a cover of the Crusaders' "Put it Where You Want It." Other highlights include the seductive "A Minor Love Affair," and "Like a Dream," with its cool rhythms.

Most of the tracks on First Kiss fall into the adult contemporary genre. Not that this is bad; just don't expect to hear anything 'ground breaking.' On the other hand, there's nothing to offend anyone. It's a great CD to put on around dinner time with that special someone. Light some candles, hit play, and you're set. This is an excellent CD for people who enjoy 'quiet storm' or 'smooth jazz' stations, but purists will find it a bit too commercial for their tastes.

© 1997 Steve Marshall