Almost Love is a warm and intimate piano pop/jazz by New York-based composer and band-leader, Marcus Goldhaber. The project explores the search for love as well as living in love’s flourish and spends more time in a adult contemporary vibe than traditional jazz. That’s a plus and a minus here. One place where Almost Love succeeds is when the melodies and arrangements are greater than the weight of the words like in the songs, “What If” and “Hide Away”. There are a few times when Goldhaber is seeking to cram more words in a melodic line and it tends to works against his vocal performance (like the end part of the bridge in “I Love You More”).

The tempo and attack of “Somebody in Love” and “As Long As I’m with You”. helps the record turn a bright corner with the traditional jazz set and Goldhaber’s most lively vocal performances. I wish more of this vocal energy were present in the adult contemporary songs as well, although the duet with New York Voices’ Lauren Kinhan on “If I Knew Better” is a nice start. Overall, there’s solid musical production throughout the project as Goldhaber expands his performance beyond traditional jazz.

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