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Soprano Saxophonist MARION MEADOWS Returns On Feb 26 With WHISPER, His First Album In Four Years
Label Debut For Shanachie Entertainment Features Special Guest Bob Baldwin And Includes Soulful Renditions Of Jazz Classics By Freddie Hubbard And Dave Grusin. Lead Single Is “Black Pearl”.
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.
Hailing from West Virginia and raised in Stamford, CT, Marion Meadows began his musical endeavors at age eight, studying clarinet. At age 15, after hearing iconic saxophone masters like Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges and Stanley Turrentine, Marion Meadows’ switch to saxophone was imminent. Upon graduation, Meadows attended the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston, later transferring to SUNY Purchase School of the Arts. While still a student, the ambitious saxophonist worked steadily as a sideman. He jokes that he “got a graduate degree playing clubs.” He was also fortunate to study with the best including Joe Henderson, Dave Liebman and Eddie Daniels.
The Maestro Duke Ellington once said “My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never!” Like the maestro, Marion Meadows, is never content to rest on his laurels. With a four-year intermission between recordings, Marion Meadows is back with Whisper and ready to share his gift with the world. “Shhhhhhhhh, the show is about to begin.”
For more info, please visit http://www.marionmeadows.com
1. The Visitor
3. Black Pearl
6. Magic Life
7. Bottoms Up (ft. Bob Baldwin)
8. Golden Curtain
10. Sky Dive
11. Wild Thing
12. Turn Up The Quiet (ft. Bob Baldwin)