Posts Tagged ‘ Kirk Whalum ’

Kirk Whalum – Humanité

Sax legend Kirk Whalum is as I already stated in another review a wanderer between the two worlds of smooth jazz and Gospel music. With his new album Humanité he breaks through this scheme.

Humanité is an album, whose music is formed in mosaic shape by the musicians and their involved personalities they have brought in to the recording process. Among many others the following musicians are participating: Japanese jazz pianist Keiko Matsui, the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star Indonesian singer/actor Afgansyah Reza, known to many as Afgan, vocalist/guitarist Zahara, one of South Africa’s biggest stars, Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi, and the veteran UK jazz vocalist Liane Carroll.

Curtis Mayfield’s song Move On Up has lost none of its radiance since its inception in the ’70s. Especially in the last months you can meet his song in ever new variations. Kirk Whalum goes his own way with his interpretation which is settled near a jazzy attitude in a Weather Report way. Singer Brendan Reilly is sensationally excellent.

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Kirk Whalum – Humanité

Grammy® Award Winner and Global Recording Artist Kirk Whalum is ruminating on exactly when his eyes were opened to the big, beautiful world beyond his cloistered boyhood in Memphis, Tennessee. There, the minister’s son spent most of his time surrounded by family and friends, soaking up the soulful spirituality he found in gospel music in church. But inside, he knew he had the heart of a wanderer.

“I was 19 and I got a scholarship to study in Paris. I lived with a French family for three months,” he says. “It changed my life – my world was essentially blown open. I told my girlfriend Ruby (now his wife), “Baby, we are so gonna live in this place someday.”

It took Kirk a while to make good on that promise. In the early 1980s, he headed to Houston, Texas, where the gifted saxophonist quickly made his mark in the burgeoning nightclub scene. Fusing together elements of gospel, blues and jazz, he developed his distinctive tenor sound – soul-drenched, emotional and always highly melodic.

Kirk made the leap from sideman to bandleader, eventually joining forces with legendary jazz keyboardist Bob James, a touring and recording collaboration that led to five albums, including his first #1 record and a GRAMMY® nomination. From there, it was off to Los Angeles, where he became an in-demand session player for top artists including Barbra Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston.
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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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