Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Collection

by Grover Washington Jr.
     
 

Kenny G and the whole contemporary jazz crew didn't spring out of nowhere. Their stylistic forefather is Grover Washington Jr., a stylish saxophonist whose mellow sound and easy-grooving solos typified the jazz-inflected music then becoming popular during the '70s and '80s. Listening to this new best-of collection brings home how virile and genuinely funky…  See more details below

Overview

Kenny G and the whole contemporary jazz crew didn't spring out of nowhere. Their stylistic forefather is Grover Washington Jr., a stylish saxophonist whose mellow sound and easy-grooving solos typified the jazz-inflected music then becoming popular during the '70s and '80s. Listening to this new best-of collection brings home how virile and genuinely funky Washington's approach was, particularly in comparison to many of today's contemporary jazz stars who followed in his wake.

On the signature 1970's material -- "Inner City Blues (Makes me Wanna Holler)," "Mr. Magic," "It Feels So Good" -- you can hear how Washington himself has followed in the footsteps of earlier r&b instrumental heroes, including saxophonists Hank Crawford and David "Fathead" Newman. Washington also knew when the addition of vocals could take a song straight to hitsville. "Just the Two of Us" his classic collaboration with Bill Withers, and "The Best is Yet to Come," with guest singer Patti Labelle, are perfect examples of how sharing the spotlight can sometimes pay off big. For Washington's later work, turn to the new, PRIME CUTS:THE GREATEST HITS:1987-1999.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Hip-O Select's Ultimate Collection of Grover Washington, Jr. tunes is pretty much that. It's true that it does leave out his great, side-long reading of Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man" and his version of "Mercy Mercy Me." That said, this is an amazing set that includes in its first three selections "Mister Magic," "Just the Two of Us," (a vocal tune with Bill Withers), and "Feel So Good," arguably the late saxophonist's greatest creative period before settling into commercial success and softer groove territory with Columbia. The Kudu/CTI years with Creed Taylor established Washington as one of the great soul-jazz and jazz-funk players. His abilities as an improviser on both tenor and soprano were virtually limitless, and his technique was, to understate the case, more than enviable. Add to this that Washington chose to be a melodic improviser from the get-go: check the Bob James-penned tune "Black Frost," which carries within it the heart of funky soul and uses melody around the tune's theme to such effect, the ensemble is challenged to try to deepen its theme or fade into the background. The enormous Bob James arrangement on the medley of "Ain't No Sunshine"/"Theme from Man and Boy (Better Days)" with a the swelling strings around him makes Washington use restraint rather than compete and uses his many subtle soul harmonies to compensate, bringing a very deep and nuanced reading to both songs. One can only hope that Washington's CTI/Kudu releases get a deluxe treatment one day and come back into print, particularly Soul Box and All the King's Horses, though Feels So Good and Mister Magic already are. As a collection, this one is very tough to beat.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/1999
Label:
Motown
UPC:
0601215388824
catalogNumber:
53888
Rank:
15647

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grover Washington   Primary Artist,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Patti LaBelle   Vocals
Bill Withers   Vocals
Phil Bodner   Baritone Saxophone
Ron Carter   Bass
Jon Faddis   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Thad Jones   Trumpet,French Horn
Marvin Stamm   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Brown   Viola
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion,Bells,Shaker
Dexter Wansel   Synthesizer
David Nadien   Violin
Airto Moreira   Percussion
Tasha Thomas   Vocals
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Seymour Barab   Cello
Randy Brecker   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Maurice Brown   Violin
Tyrone Brown   Bass
Lewis Eley   Violin
Max Ellen   Violin
Barry Finclair   Violin
John Frosk   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Steve Gadd   Percussion,Drums
Eric Gale   Guitar
Paul Gershman   Violin
Harry Glickman   Violin
Emanuel Green   Violin
Hilda Harris   Vocals
Harry Lookofsky   Violin
Julius Held   Violin
Idris Muhammad   Drums
Marilyn Jackson   Vocals
Louis Johnson   Bass
Leo Kahn   Violin
Harry Katzman   Violin
Gary King   Bass
Harold Kohon   Violin
James K. Lloyd   Keyboards
Guy Lumia   Violin
Joseph Malin   Violin
Harvey Mason   Drums
Charles McCracken   Violin
Marcus Miller   Bass
Bob Millikan   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Cedric A. Napoleon   Bass
Raoul Poliakin   Violin
Max Pollikoff   Violin
Matthew Raimondi   Violin
Alan Raph   Bass Trombone
Barry Rogers   Trombone
Alan Shulman   Violin,Cello
James Sid Simmons   Keyboards,Electric Piano
James Herb Smith   Guitar
Anthony Sophos   Cello
Richard Lee Steacker   Guitar
Maretha Stewart   Vocals
Tony Studd   Bass Trombone
Richard Tee   Organ,Electric Piano,fender rhodes
Manny Vardi Strings   Viola
Millard Vinson   Drums
Darryl Washington   Drums
Snooky Young   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Julius Brand   Violin
Leslie Burrs   Flute
Paul Winter   Violin
Donald Ashworth   Baritone Saxophone
Kenneth "Spider Webb" Rice   Drums

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer
Rahsaan Roland Kirk   Composer
Ralph MacDonald   Producer
Dexter Wansel   Arranger,Producer
Creed Taylor   Producer
Grover Washington   Arranger,Producer
David Nathan   Essay
Vartan   Art Direction
Carol Friedman   Tray Photo
Ilene Weingard   Art Direction
James Nyx   Composer

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