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Strawberry Moon/Then and Now/Time Out of Mind
     

Strawberry Moon/Then and Now/Time Out of Mind

by Grover Washington Jr.
 
Great Britain's BGO label looks into saxophone giant Grover Washington Jr.'s Columbia period. The three albums (on two CDs) here find him at the height of his popularity. While he had cut House Full of Love for the label in 1986, it was a soundtrack set for Bill Cosby's TV sitcom. Strawberry Moon, issued in 1988, represents

Overview

Great Britain's BGO label looks into saxophone giant Grover Washington Jr.'s Columbia period. The three albums (on two CDs) here find him at the height of his popularity. While he had cut House Full of Love for the label in 1986, it was a soundtrack set for Bill Cosby's TV sitcom. Strawberry Moon, issued in 1988, represents his proper debut offering for the label. Here the king of R&B-driven jazz saxophonists shines on all three horns, as music director, and as producer. Some of the guests on the album include James Lloyd, Gerald Veasely (who was soon to join Washington's band), Joey DeFrancesco, and Marcus Miller -- who wrote and co-produced the single "Summer Nights" for the session. Other highlights include Jean Carne's enigmatic performance on the Bacharach-David nugget "The Look of Love," B.B. King's guitar and vocal guest spot on "Caught a Touch of Your Love," and the stellar midtempo groover "I Will Be There for You," written by Michael J. Powell, who also plays guitar and co-produced it. Washington's critics greeted 1989's Then and Now with shock because it is a straight-ahead jazz date. Grover recruited some heavyweights including Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tommy Flanagan, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, and others for the date. He recorded some of their tunes, too: Carter's "Blues for D.P.," Hancock's "Just Enough," and Flanagan's "Something Borrowed, Something Blue" are in the track list. There is a fine reading of Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood," with breathtaking piano work by Flanagan. Washington's own gorgeous "Lullaby for Shana Bly" is also a set high point. Ever the restless innovator, there was a twist in the mix. On numerous cuts, Washington juxtaposed straight-ahead jazzmen with members of his own band -- check bassist Veasely playing a five-string bass on "Stella by Starlight," and electric guitarist Richard Lee Steacker on this arrangement of Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments." The set hit the number two spot on the jazz charts. Time Out of Mind was a return to contemporary jazz. It was chock-full of programmed keyboards, basses, and drums (though conventional instruments are often used with the programmed ones). Highlights include Ronnie Foster's "Jamaica," on which he plays everything but saxophones; the title track, which is indeed a reading of the Donald Fagen-Walter Becker number; and the shimmering groove of Donald Robinson's "Nice-n-Easy." While this was the second recording in a row that didn't cross over to the R&B charts the way his previous records had, Time Out of Mind hit the top spot on the contemporary jazz charts and sold very well. This package also contains the Washington-penned bonus cut "Unspoken Love," from the album's sessions. As is typical of BGO packages, the remastering job is warm, full, and resonant, and Charles Waring's liner essay is as authoritative as it is intuitive.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/14/2012
Label:
Bgo - Beat Goes On
UPC:
5017261210197
catalogNumber:
6121019
Rank:
124911

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grover Washington   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,fairlight,fender rhodes,Horn Section
Phyllis Hyman   Vocals
Ron Carter   Upright Bass
Tommy Flanagan   Piano (Grand)
Herbie Hancock   Piano (Grand)
Marvin "Smitty" Smith   Drums
Grady Tate   Drums
Jean Carne   Vocals
Gerald Veasley   Bass,5-string Bass
Randy Bowland   Guitar
Tyrone Brown   Electric Upright Bass
Daryl Burgee   Percussion
Igor Butman   Tenor Saxophone
Joey DeFrancesco   fender rhodes,Piano (Grand)
Miguel Fuentes   Percussion,Conga
Leonard "Doc" Gibbs   Percussion,Conga
Spencer Harrison   Vocals,Background Vocals
Paula Holloway   Background Vocals
Bill Jolly   Electric Piano
B.B. King   Guitar,Vocals
Michael J. Powell   Guitar
Donald Robinson   Keyboards
Jim Salamone   Percussion,Drums
James Sid Simmons   fairlight,Piano (Grand)
Richard Lee Steacker   Guitar
Darryl Washington   Drums,Timbales
Philip Woo   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Sid Simmons   Keyboards
Elizabeth Hogue   Background Vocals
Randall Bowland   Guitar
Ellen Cohen   Bell-tree,Wind Chimes
James Lloyd   fairlight,fender rhodes,DX-7,Piano (Grand)
Lawrence Newton   Background Vocals
Tracey Alston   Background Vocals
Jim Salomone   Percussion,Drums,Linn Drum

Technical Credits

Ron Carter   Composer
Ronnie Foster   Producer,Instrumentation
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Gerald Veasley   Arranger
Al Alberts   Engineer
George Butler   Executive Producer
Hal David   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Peter Humphreys   Engineer
Bill Jolly   Arranger,Instrumentation
Scott MacMinn   Engineer
Marcus Miller   Producer,Instrumentation
Michael O'Reilly   Engineer
Michael J. Powell   Producer
Donald Robinson   Arranger,Producer
Joe Tarsia   Engineer
Grover Washington   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Eric Calvi   Engineer
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Fernando Kral   Engineer
Rico Lins   Art Direction
Tim Kinsey   Engineer
Charles Waring   Liner Notes
Jim Salomone   Programming

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