Like his friend Luther Vandross, Kashif is trying to reconcile soul's past and future by combining old- fashioned romantic vocals with state-of-the-art synth-funk backing tracks. Kashif's second album, "Send Me Your Love," is limited by the fact that he just doesn't have Vandross' enormous lung power or emotional resonance. The record is graced, however, by Kashif's wizardry with synthesizers and arrangements; his keyboards are like water colors filling in the sturdy outlines of his dance grooves.
In fact, the warmth and translucence of his synthesizer textures give the songs an inviting, non-mechanical feel. His voice is the same: bright and airy. Though the lightness of his voice precludes belted climaxes, Kashif works within his limits for an understated seductiveness.
Kashif, who has written hits for Evelyn King, Howard Johnson, Melba Moore and George Benson, has written some catchy hooks for himself here. Benson and Kenny G help out on the streetwise rhythms of "I've Been Missing You," and Al Jarreau joins Kashif for a jazzy scat duet on "Edgartown Groove." The best songs, though, are those with the hypnotic romantic melodies: "Ooh Love" and the title tune, which echo Vandross imitating Smokey Robinson. KASHIF -- "Send Me Your Love" (Arista AL8 8205); opening for Gladys Knight & The Pips Friday and Saturday at Constitution Hall.