Grover Washington, Jr. – The Essential Grover Washington, Jr.: The Columbia Years (2013)

Grover Washington, Jr. - The Essential Grover Washington, Jr.: The Columbia Years (2013)
Artist: Grover Washington, Jr.
Album: The Essential Grover Washington, Jr.: The Columbia Years
Label: Columbia – Legacy
Year Of Release: 2013
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. Loran’s Dance
02. Strawberry Moon
03. The Look of Love
04. Summer Nights
05. Sacred Kind of Love
06. Time out of Mind
07. Take Five (Take Another Five)
08. Love Like This
09. Next Exit
10. Soulful Strut
11. Poppin’
12. The Christmas Song
13. It’s Too Late
14. Work Song (Live)
15. Every Day a Little Death (From A Little Night Music)
16. Stolen Moments
17. All My Tomorrow (Instrumental)
18. Lullaby for Shana Bly
19. Ifrane
20. Please Send Me Someone to Love
21. My Man’s Gone Now from “Porgy & Bess”
22. Flamingo (Instrumental)
23. Blues for D.P.
24. E Preciso Perdoar (Instrumental)
25. O Mio Babbino Caro from “Gianni Schicchi” (Instrumental)


One of the most popular saxophonists of all time, Grover Washington, Jr. was long the pacesetter in his field. His roots were in R&B and soul-jazz organ combos, but he also fared very well on the infrequent occasions when he played straight-ahead jazz. A highly influential player, Washington pushed himself with the spontaneity and risk-taking of a masterful jazz musician.

Mister MagicGrover Washington, Jr.’s, father also played saxophone and was his first influence. The younger son started playing music when he was ten, and within two years was working in clubs. He picked up experience touring with the Four Clefs from 1959-1963 and freelancing during the next two years, before spending a couple years in the Army. He moved to Philadelphia in 1967, becoming closely identified with the city from then on, and worked with several organists, including Charles Earland and Johnny Hammond Smith, recording as a sideman for the Prestige label. His biggest break occurred in 1971, when Hank Crawford could not make it to a recording date for Creed Tasylor’s Kudu label; Washington was picked as his replacement, and the result was Inner City Blues, a big seller. From then on he became a major name, particularly after recording 1975’s Mister Magic and Feels So Good, and later 1980’s Winelight; the latter included the Bill Withers hit “Just the Two of Us.”

AriaAlthough some of his recordings since then found him coasting a bit, Washington usually stretched himself in concert. He developed his own personal voices on soprano, tenor, alto, and even his infrequently-used baritone. Grover Washington Jr. recorded as a leader for Kudu, Motown, Elektra, and Columbia and made notable guest appearances on dozens of records ranging from pop to straightforward jazz. He died of a sudden heart attack on December 17, 1999 while taping an appearance on CBS television’s The Saturday Early Show; Washington was 56. The posthumous Aria was issued early the following year.
by Scott Yanow

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