The inspired pairing of vocalist Mark Kibble and guitarist Steve Khan unfolds on Island Letter (Blue Canoe), a recent release by two innovators in their respective fields. A founding member of vocal powerhouse Take 6, Kibble is credited with shaping the group’s signature sound via his tenor leads and arrangements, which have become a standard for close-harmony singing over the past few decades. Khan, fresh from UCLA, headed to New York City in 1969, where he established himself as a distinctive voice alongside the likes of Larry Coryell and the Brecker Brothers. Both Kibble and Khan were sought out by the stars, with the singer producing albums for Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, and the guitarist working with Miles Davis, Steely Dan and Freddie Hubbard, to name a few. Their skills and sensibilities are in full evidence on the title track to Island Letter, which was penned by soul legend Shuggie Otis. Khan’s pristine picking and Marc Quiñones’ tropical percussion emphasize the Latin rhythms at the heart of the tune, providing a solid springboard for Kibble’s intimate vocals and silky harmonies.