Close to 25 years later, scores of sold out shows, twelve critically heralded albums, a string of radio hits and collaborations with luminaries like Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, The Temptations, George Benson and Norman Connors, Meadows is not through yet. “I have immersed myself in so many styles, from old school funk, jazz, rock and pop that a great tune is a great tune and I draw inspirations from all styles of music, but it is also from the outdoors and the beauty the world has to offer that inspire me each day” states Marion.
February 26, 2013, Shanachie Entertainment in conjunction with Listen 2 Entertainment Group will release Whisper, Marion Meadows’ label debut. Featuring mostly originals, Meadows dances a delicate balance between soul and fire, intellect and emotion, and sensitivity and brawn, making Whisper, an exhilarating musical foray into one of contemporary jazz’s most brilliant minds and recognized soprano saxophonists.
A musician unafraid to boldly fuse diverse influences, Marion Meadows sculpts a borderless musical tapestry on Whisper. “I came up listening to Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington but at the same time musicians like Earth Wind & Fire, Chaka Khan, Chicago and Parliament Funkadelic,”
Meadows produced Whisper along with Carlos Pennisi, Bob Baldwin, Rahni Song and Broening. The album’s first single is the enticing, funky and hypnotic “Black Pearl.” Just like its namesake and gemstone, Meadows’ pearl is multi-layered, producing a beautiful interior within each shimmering chorus. Keyboardist Carlos Pennisi co-authored the song and helped Marion to compose five songs on the album. “Carlos helped me really try different musical ideas on Whisper. He is an amazing composer and multi-instrumentalist born in Italy with a great sense of using colors in his productions. As an artist I’m searching to try new ideas, and he definitely brought that to the table.” “Timeless,”
Recording Whisper for Meadows was truly a labor of love and part of that process was the joy of collaborating with friends. Longtime associate and keyboardist Bob Baldwin joins Marion on two of the album’s tracks, “Bottoms Up” and “Turn Up The Quiet.” Meadows says of his friend, “Bob always delivers!” Turn Up The Quiet” marks one of the high points on the project, as the duo score a home run.
Marion’s tender soprano gracefully teases and caresses the seductive melody as Baldwin finds all the accents to drive the song home. Flautist Ragan Whiteside joins Meadows on the show-stopping number, “Bottoms Up.” Marion calls Whiteside and Althea Rene (who is featured on “Golden Curtain,”) “two of the greatest flautists I know.” Not afraid to get loose and turn up the heat Marion Meadows serves up a scorcher on “Wild Thing,” a James Brown inspired romp that escalates things to a sweat inducing fevered pitch.
Throughout 2013, Meadows will support his acclaimed new album with performances at various jazz festivals around the country. In addition to touring steadily on his own, Marion is also a member of the highly sought after Sax And the City Tour fronting the band with fellow reedman Paul Taylor, with additional guests Jessy J, young saxophone sensation Vincent Ingala and pianist vocalist extraordinaire Joe McBride.
APR 07 – Las Vegas, NV @ Thomas & Mack Center (Soul Festival)
APR 20 – Cleveland, OH @ State Theatre (Tri-C JazzFest)
APR 27 – New Haven, CT @ Jay Rowe Jazz for Scholars
MAY 11 – Cincinnati, OH @ Atrium Hotel
JUN 08 – Atlanta, GA @ Mable House Amphitheatre
JUN 14 – Gahanna, OH @ Creekside Blues & Jazz Fest
JUN 15 – Rosemont, IL @ InterContinental Hotel (Montrose Room)
JUN 21 – Charlotte, NC @ Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest (*SATC)
JUL 12 – Upper Marlboro, MD @ Martin’s Camelot (Lake Arbor Jazz Fest)
SEP 07 – Austin, TX @ The Paramount Theatre
SEP 27 – New Haven, CT @ John Lyman Center at SCSU (*SATC)
OCT 11 – Catalina Island, CA @ Catalina JazzTrax Fest (*SATC)
* Sax And The City (SATC) Tour Features Saxophonists Marion Meadows, Vincent Ingala and Paul Taylor with Joe McBride and Will Brock on Vocals and Keyboards, “Chocolate”
LISTEN to Tracks from WHISPER: http://soundcloud.com/