Posts Tagged ‘ Kirk Whalum ’

Kirk Whalum – Lovecovers

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The charisma of a preacher, the attitude of a monk, the kindness of a human. This and much more is saxophonist Kirk Whalum. Those, who attended his concerts, will never forget him and his melodies. Kirk is like Grover Washington Jr. a legend, the shining light of music. He is a wanderer between two worlds. An in-demand artist in the smooth jazz scene he performed with Peter White, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Gerald Albright and many more. Albums like For You (1998), Unconditional (2000), Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songbook (2005), and Roundtrip (2007) received high acclaims and great acceptance by the listeners.

But his real passion is Gospel music and the worship to God. His Gospel hours are truly impressing and inspirational. He started his first Gospel project in 1998 with The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter One. His sophomore project in this genre was Hymns in the Garden (2000), followed by The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter II (2002) and Chapter III (2010).

Lovecovers features inspirational covers of Stevie Wonder’s “Have A Talk with God,” Beyoncé’s “Love On Top,” and Whalum’s first ever studio recording of “I Will Always Love You.” If you live in the USA, then you can get your advance release from the website here http://lovecovers.kirkwhalum.com/.

BWB – BWB

BWBBWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort Human Nature (2013) they reunited on Heads Up Music to do a Michael Jackson songbook. Their third strike is aptly entitled BWB and released in 2016 on Mack Avenue Records.

The formation is joined on selected tracks by Hamilton Hardin and Herman Jackson (keyboards), Braylon Lacey and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. (bass), Third Richardson and Gordon Campbell (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Demille Cole-Heard (vocals) and Ralph Lofton (Hammond B3). The new album is the result of exercises in Braun’s suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week.

The recorded songs are without any exception own creations, masterly produced by Rick Braun. Triple Dare starts the album with an horn arrangement inspired by The Crusader’s Streetlife. Bust A Move brings the funky vibe into the session. Instead of covers like on the trio’s debut album, they showcase their personal prowess on this party burner.

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BWB – BWB

BWBYou can almost smell the tangy barbecue sauce dripping from the forthcoming third album “BWB” by chart-topping trio BWB, who throw down like a sweaty garage band at a Memphis backyard house party on their debut for the Artistry Music label arriving April 22. It’s the first time the band made up of GRAMMY® winners Norman Brown (guitar, vocals) and Kirk Whalum (saxophone, flute, vocals) and Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, vocals) cooked up a festive, sticky-fingered feast of ten new contemporary jazz, R&B, soul and funk joints. Braun produced the session in his suburban Los Angeles-area home studio where the band moved in with their families and lived together for an entire week. The result is a collaborative disc celebrating brotherhood and live music. The tantalizing title track is the first radio cut, which enters Billboard’s Top 10 on next week’s singles chart and appears to be ticketed for the top spot.

Anytime the three solo stars get together to record, it’s an instant candidate for event album of the year in the contemporary jazz world. BWB has been itching to record original material ever since they first recorded as a high-wattage trio in 2002 when they released a collection of covers entitled “Groovin’.” Over a decade later, they reunited as a combo in 2013 with “Human Nature,” paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s songbook and scoring their first No 1 hit with “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground).” This time around, they decided to compose the material entirely on their own, creating party jams specifically with their spirited live shows in mind.

As Braun tells it, “A long time ago in a faraway galaxy, three brothers dreamed of recording a CD of all original material as a band. Although the evil forces of time and geography stood in their way for many years, a dream is a powerful idea and ultimately the collective, creative force will prevail. And in that spirit, Norman and Kirk moved into my house for a short week with their loved ones. We played our horns, sang, drank wine, wrote, laughed and lived together. Thus it began!” Continue reading

Kirk Whalum – Gospel According to Jazz Chapter 4

ATJ4Kirk Whalum‘s new album The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter 4 will be released on March 24th. The album features Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Doc Gibbs and more!

Pre-order your 2-CD-set at Amazon.com.

BWB – Human Nature

Michael Jackson throws after his death still a powerful shadow. After Bob Baldwin’s tribute album Never Can Say Goodbye three further giants of smooth jazz present their very own homage Human Nature (2013). BWB is named after the musicians Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. Their first co-operation Groovin’ was released in 2002 on Warner Brothers. With their sophomore effort they reunited to do a Michael Jackson songbook.

The formation is joined by John Stoddart (keyboards), Braylon Lacey (bass), Khari Parker (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Ralph Lofton (organ). To do an album of just covers carries some risk, especially when the original is so often played. On the other hand good jazz musicians have to overcome such obstacles.

That said the trio improvise on Another Part Of Me presenting their special skills and perfect written arrangement, thus transforming a well-known tune to a jazzy element. With Billie Jean they showcase brilliantly created harmonies. The concept is illustrated anew with the song Human Nature. A simple designed melody develops to a well thought out piece.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Augsburg 2012

Promoter and event manager Christian Bößner has fulfilled his lifelong dream. If he wants to hear and see a great musician, he invites him to his Smooth Jazz Festival. His festivals in Bregenz, Munich, Austria, Mallorca and Augsburg are legend.

Musicians like Peter White, Rick Braun, Brian Simpson, Nick Colionne, Dave Koz, Jessy J, Paul Brown, Rocco Ventrella, Jonathan Fritzén, Gerald Albright, Martin Ehlers Trio, David Benoit, Walter “Chepe” Blanco, John Odio, Paul “Shilts” Weimar, Chuck Loeb, Joyce Cooling, Steve Oliver, Michael Lington, Club des Belugas, Marcus Johnson, Richard Elliot, Gabin, Chieli Minucci, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, De Phazz, Praful, Pat Appleton, Jaared, Candy Dulfer, Eric Darius, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine, Warren Hill, UNÉ and Adani & Wolf followed his invitation.

His events are varied. He surprises the audience constantly with new programs. As he always opens up new places and venues, it is also not boring for the audience concerning this aspect. But apparently is his hometown Augsburg the constant in his career as promoter. Thus, the Smooth Jazz Festival in Augsburg is meanwhile tradition and institution. Evidently provides the Kurhaus Göggingen all the elements for a successful festival.

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Kirk Whalum – Romance Language

Kirk Whalum’s saxophone sound is one of the cornerstones of contemporary jazz. He’s collaborated with many artists and has made his mark in the worlds of gospel, jazz and R&B. I just learned that he is President/CEO of the STAX Music Academy and the STAX Museum of American Soul Music. For that alone, he’s ‘the man’ in my eyes.

For this, his 19th album as leader, he has teamed up with his brother Kevin – a vocalist with great subtlety and feeling – to create a tribute to the 1963 album “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman”. The first six songs from “Romance Language” are re-takes of the 1963 record’s only six songs. OK, history lesson over, what do we have here to enjoy?

Irving Berlin’s ‘They Say it’s Wonderful’ glides in with Kevin Whalum’s dark brown voice and the smokiness of Kirk’s tenor horn. The balance is beautifully judged. This is the tenderest of ballads and it’s music that you can only write and play from the heart. ‘Dedicated to You’, with its sexy brass and flute intro, takes you deeper into that romantic mood. The sax solo really is timeless and would have sounded as good fifty years ago as it does now. Usually statements like that are made the other way around – but you get the idea… Just lovely.

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