Grover Washington, Jr.


Grover Washington, Jr.

Grover Washington, Jr. (December 12, 1943 – December 17, 1999) [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gzfuxqtgldhe~T1 allmusic Biography] ] was an American jazz-funk / soul-jazz saxophonist. Along with John Klemmer, George Benson, David Sanborn, Bob James, Chuck Mangione, Herb Alpert, and Spyro Gyra, he is considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of the smooth jazz genre.Fact|date=July 2007

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Washington made some of the genre's most memorable hits, including "Mr. Magic", "Black Frost", and "The Best is Yet to Come". In addition, he performed very frequently with other artists, including Bill Withers on "Just the Two of Us" (still in regular rotation on radio today) and Phyllis Hyman on "A Sacred Kind of Love". He is also remembered for his take on a Dave Brubeck classic, called "Take Five", and for his hit "Soulful Strut".

Washington played on black nickel-plated saxophones including a SX90R alto, SX90R tenor, and soprano.

Biography

Early life

Washington was born in Buffalo, New York on December 12, 1943. His mother was a church chorister, and his father was a collector of old Jazz gramophone records and a saxophonist as well, so music was everywhere in the home. He grew up with the great jazzmen and big band leaders like Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, and others like them. At the age of 8, with the desire for him to be more than he could be, Grover Sr. gave Jr. a saxophone. He practiced and sneaked into clubs to see famous Buffalo blues musicians.

Early career

Washington left Buffalo and played with a midwest group called the Four Clefs. He was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly thereafter, but this was to be to his advantage, as he met drummer Billy Cobham. Cobham, a mainstay in New York City, introduced Washington to many New York musicians. After leaving the Army, Washington freelanced his talents around New York City, eventually landing in Philadelphia in 1967. In 1970 and 1971, he appeared on Leon Spencer's first two albums on Prestige Records, together with Idris Muhammad and Melvin Sparks.

Washington's big break came at the expense of another artist. Alto sax man Hank Crawford was unable to make a recording date with Creed Taylor's Kudu Records, [ [http://www.dougpayne.com/kudut.htm www.dougpayne.com] ] and Washington took his place, even though he was a backup. This led to his first solo album, "Inner City Blues". He was talented, and displayed heart and soul with soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Refreshing for his time, he made headway into the jazz mainstream.

Fame

His fifth album, 1974's "Mister Magic", was a commercial success, and introduced guitarist Eric Gale as a near-permanent member in Washington's arsenal.

A string of acclaimed records brought Washington through the 1970s, which culminated in the signature piece for everything Washington would do from then on. The 1980s "Winelight" was the album that defined everything Washington was about. The album was smooth, fused with R&B and easy listening feel. Washington's love of basketball, especially the Philadelphia 76ers, led him to dedicate his first track, "Let It Flow" to Julius Erving (Dr. J). The highlight of the album, and a main staple of radio airplay everywhere, was his great collaboration with soul artist Bill Withers, "Just The Two of Us," which was a huge hit on radio during the spring and summer of '81, peaking at #2 on the "Billboard" Hot 100. It was also the final step away from Motown, landing him on Elektra Records and into a new era of jazz excellence. The album went platinum in 1981, and also won Grammy Awards in 1982 for Best R&B Song ("Just The Two of Us"), and Best Jazz Fusion Performance ("Winelight"). "Winelight" was also nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

In the post-"Winelight" era, Washington is credited for giving rise to a new batch of talent that would make its mark in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is known for bringing Kenny G to the forefront, but also credited with bringing such smooth jazz artists as Walter Beasley, Steve Cole, Pamela Williams, Najee, and George Howard. His song "Mr. Magic" is noted as being influential on Go-go music starting in the mid-1970s. [cite news
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first = Jeff
title = Wind me up, Chuck!
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publisher = San Francisco Bay Guardian
date = June 2001
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accessdate = 2007-06-01
]

On December 17, 1999, while waiting in the green room after taping four songs for the "The Early Show", at CBS Studios in New York City, Washington collapsed. He was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 7:30 p.m. His doctors determined that he had suffered a massive heart attack.

Discography

As leader

* 1971: "Inner City Blues"
* 1972: "All the King's Horses"
* 1973: "Soul Box"
* 1974: "Mister Magic"
* 1975: "Feels So Good"
* 1976: "A Secret Place"
* 1978: "Live at the Bijou"
* 1979: "Skylarkin"'
* 1979: "Paradise"
* 1979: "Reed Seed"
* 1980: "Winelight"
* 1980: "Come Morning"
* 1981: "Baddest"
* 1982: "The Best Is Yet to Come"
* 1984: "Inside Moves"
* 1986: "House Full of Love (Music from "The Cosby Show")"
* 1987: "Strawberry Moon"
* 1988: "Then and Now"
* 1989: "Time Out of Mind"
* 1992: "Next Exit"
* 1994: "All My Tomorrows"
* 1996: "Soulful Strut"
* 2000: "Aria"

As sideman

With Leon Spencer
*1970: "Sneak Preview" (Prestige Records)
*1971: "Louisiana Slim" (Prestige)

With Gerry Mulligan
*1995: "Dragonfly" (Telarc)

With Kathleen Battle
*1995: "So Many Stars" (Sony)

References

External links

* [http://www.groverwashingtonjr.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.legacyrecordings.com/Grover-Washington-Jr.aspx Grover Washington, Jr. at Legacy Recordings]


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  • Grover Washington — Grover Washington, Jr., Wandmalerei in der North Broad Street, Philadelphia Grover Washington, Jr. (* 12. Dezember 1943 in Buffalo, New York; † 17. Dezember 1999 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Grover Washington, Jr. — Grover Washington, Jr. (* 12. Dezember 1943 in Buffalo, New York; † 17. Dezember 1999 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Saxophonist und Flötist, der als Mitbegründer und einer der wichtigsten Stilisten des so genannten Smooth Jazz… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Grover Washington Jr. — Grover Washington, Jr. Grover Washington, Jr. Nom Grover Washington, Jr. Naissance le 12 décembre 1943 Pays d’origine Buff …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Grover Washington, Jr. — Este artículo o sección necesita una revisión de ortografía y gramática. Puedes colaborar editándolo (lee aquí sugerencias para mejorar tu ortografía). Cuando se haya corregido, borra este aviso por favor. Grover Washington Jr. (12 de diciembre… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Grover Washington junior — Grover Washington, Jr., Wandmalerei in der North Broad Street, Philadelphia Grover Washington, Jr. (* 12. Dezember 1943 in Buffalo, New York; † 17. Dezember 1999 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Inner City Blues (Grover Washington Jr. album) — Infobox Album | Name = Inner City Blues Type = Studio album Artist = Grover Washington Jr. Released = 1972 Recorded = Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, September 1971 Genre = Jazz fusion, Smooth jazz Length = Label = CTI Producer = Creed Taylor… …   Wikipedia

  • Then and Now (Grover Washington Jr album) — Infobox Album | Name = Then and Now Type = Studio album Artist = Grover Washington, Jr. Released = 1988 Recorded = Genre = Jazz fusion, Smooth jazz Length = Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = Strawberry Moon (1987) This album = Then and… …   Wikipedia


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