Whitfield reaches back to a genre that seems to tempt the stodgiest of us to feel warmth smack dab in the center of our hearts. Along with love song standards, he pens his own, like his rompish "I’m a Romantic Sap" (featuring Marvin Stamm on muted trumpet and Scott Robinson on tenor saxophone,) in which he sings and plays, and the crooner "Two People" (with the Manhattan Vocal Project.) "Only At Lonely Times" is given a blushed Brazilian tinge with guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and percussionist Memo Acevedo. Scott Robinson’s bass flute is just audible above the lilting rhythm formed by Acevedo and drummer Terry Clarke. This composition is by pianist Rodgers Grant, who’s worked with, among other jazz artists, percussionists Mongo Santamaria and T.S. Monk. Manhattan Transfer member Cheryl Bentyne is in perfect harmony with Whitfield on "Sugar" and "Adagio in Pearl," fashioned from a melody by pianist Bill Evans (also known as "Bill’s Hit Tune.")
Whitfield seems to be playing his hand as of late, releasing Live at Charlie O's, Diamonds for Nat, and The Minute Game since 2005 (all on Summit Records.) It’s an exercise in expression and Whitfield seems to have the resources and energy to put it all out there. Speaking of Love.... is just another card out of the deck. And this time it's the Queen of Hearts.... .